NMPi’s Big Debate: Failure is, in Fact, an Option

Sarah Ward, Senior Director, Client Management, Pitney Bowes

Adaptation is key for companies to remain relevant and meet customer demand, and Sarah’s presentation has you covered. Big leaps in technology, like the ones we see in our industry, are not without risk. Planning for these outcomes means that your chances of success are that much greater.

In a career that’s spanned more than 20 years, Sarah has watched the transformation from physical stores to the digital age and sees that we are facing a crossroads full of uncertainty. How can businesses weigh up calculated risks versus complacency?

There are known unknowns, and there are unknown unknowns. We can plan for the known unknowns, but unknown unknowns are notoriously harder to predict. When we remember that businesses are risk-averse – understandable given the current uncertainty of the world – the picture becomes daunting.

Having contingency plans in place for things like Brexit means that you’re also prepared for those events that are harder to foresee. Taking principles from your planned contingencies and applying them to future events puts companies in a far stronger position to be proactive when the situation becomes unclear.

There is time to prepare, and you have the data to unlock your brand’s potential in markets that you are under-penetrating right now. Diversifying your customer base will prove to be a real game changer. Technology exists today to allow businesses to be more nimble and acquire net new customers through localisations of new markets. This is especially true of websites. Machine learning is getting more and more sophisticated to help improve your conversion rates.

Taking calculated risks, testing in a controlled environment, accepting that sometimes, setbacks will often move you forwards, will put you and your business in a position of strength and gives you control over your destiny, rather than external forces always calling those shots.

Want to know what Sarah thinks is the future of social media in marketing? Watch our panel discussion now.