What have business leaders learnt during the past financial year?
For this article, we spoke to three business leaders who shared with us their learnings over the past financial year.
Michael Richards, CEO of B2B marketing specialist alan.
“As the saying goes ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’, so the priority for any leader as we enter the new financial year is to ensure that their people are looked after. This isn’t just about remuneration – although special note must be made given the current cost of living crisis – but about ‘reward’ in the broadest sense; mental and physical well-being and a clear sense of direction and personal development.
“I like to think of our 3Ps: people, present clients and pipeline. Smart leaders invest in both people and present clients to maintain and nurture current business and then double down on the pipeline.
“At alan., we’ve invested in bespoke research to see what will make a difference to our clients and prospects and our recent report The Power of Provocation revealed the dire need for B2B marketing to get its act together. Some 82% of people find B2B marketing predictable and repetitive and 100% of C-suite respondents said marketers need to make themselves accountable for tackling the risk-averse culture in the B2B industry.
“B2B can use the next financial year to invest in its marketing strategies, to instil inspiration for an industry that needs it.”
Dan Berry, CEO at UNRVLD
“The last financial year has shown us that there is no room for waste. Belt-tightening at times of fiscal turbulence can lead to more effective, efficient use of digital systems and services. Uncertainty helps to sharpen the focus on business outcomes and how to align customer experience strategy to deliver on key commercial objectives.
“We are increasingly seeing swifter adoption of Web3 services, including powerful data and AI tools that ensure optimum digital performance that is targeted, personalised and underpinned by clear KPIs aligned to business intentions. Our clients are also embracing innovative tools like Vercel’s hosting services, or Contentful’s agile, composable CMS, aligned to smart ecommerce tools, like ElasticPath, that enable swifter, direct-to-customer sales channels and higher conversion rates for purchase.
“Adopting a managed culture of experimentation, using platforms like Optimizely, should also be high on the agenda, helping businesses provide seamless improvements and higher returns. And reorganising teams around key purpose and outcomes over functions is helping the very sharpest businesses to create a more agile, happier workforce that is easier to retain. All of which leads to a leaner business model and higher financial return.”
Maureen Corish, Managing Director, Pumpkin PR
“A business is only as good as its people, so leaders need to continue focussing on their most important asset. The employer-employee contract is ever more complex as we navigate office vs home ratio preferences and see our teams’ commuting costs spiral.
It’s incumbent on us as leaders to make work as rewarding as possible not just in terms of salary or output, but by investing in the development and nurturing of talent. When your people are doing their best work, your clients will reap the benefits.
“The new financial year will not be a time for complacency. Leaders must horizon scan for growth while also checking in on whether the business is in the best shape it can be for current and future market conditions. Swirling recessionary headwinds and rising costs must be countered by a laser-like focus on outgoings and the bottom line, but not at the expense of great work.
“You must deliver what you do better than anyone else and not be scared to try new things.”