The narrative is changing day-to-day, but the world is starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. As the U.S. approaches the beginning stages of COVID-19 recovery, leaders across all industries face nuanced issues brought on by a drastic change in consumer behavior, an influx of digital consumption, a rise in telehealth, and a workforce that shifted to remote seemingly overnight. We reached out to our thought leaders in marketing & cybersecurity to hear their insight on these topics and how C-Suite Executives can prepare themselves for a somewhat uncertain future in a post-COVID world.
What do you think advertising, media, and consumer behavior will look like post-pandemic, and what can marketers do now to prepare for this shift?
“The rate with which consumers return to some sense of normalcy will be disrupted not only by lingering concerns about COVID-19, but also by the income shock that the economy as a whole is currently experiencing. For these reasons, the recovery will likely be slow and most importantly, highly variable from customer to customer. Now more than ever, companies will need to account for this in their tactical decision making by embracing these differences across customers, identifying who it is who is continuing to buy, what it is that makes them special, and how the firm can reposition itself to better cater to those people.”
– Daniel McCarthy, Thought Leader, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Emory University – Goizueta Business School
“As we move to the next stage of the pandemic, consumer behavior will appear variable. Consumers are balancing concerns about safety, their natural inclination to “return to the familiar”, and will shed or continue to embrace new virtual and contactless interactions (such as telehealth, online banking, meal ordering apps, virtual site visits, and customer events, curbside grocery pickup) that have over last 11 weeks simplified their lives. Marketers need to mirror this balancing by engaging closely with their customers to ensure they are meeting their current needs and innovating to support customers’ changing expectations and concerns. This will require agility and faster decision making, increased use of digital (or contactless) tools, and more effective use of analytics. Marketing leaders need to assess their organization’s capabilities to do this and quickly reallocate investment to improve and focus their resources where necessary.”
– Nicholas Caffentzis, Thought Leader, Senior Fellow & Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management
How do you expect COVID-19 to change the risk management landscape in the coming years, and what should CISOs do to pivot their strategy?
“Risks will increase in the face of the global economic recession. Don’t forget, we’re not in a bubble; there are 7B+ people connected to the ‘net. Telehealth has happened, 40 years after it was feasible! This is a big plus. Many more people are online in new scenarios. So the threat surface has gotten much bigger. I think continued awareness training is critical. Also, COVID totally breaks the central security perimeter concept (it was already on life support). Cloud security platforms, and cloud, will continue to grow like crazy. I’m also excited about new collaboration platforms and how they can improve productivity for security and other teams. We need to continue to do more, with the same resources.”
– Fredrick Scholl, Cybersecurity Program Director & Associate Teaching Professor at Quinnipiac University School of Engineering
“Some CISOs may wish to lower the risk of sensitive information being leaked by sending out new laptops with strict security settings to some employees with instructions to move all information about their organization to that machine and do all work for their organization (and nothing else) on that machine. They could even take the opportunity to provide with the laptop an easy-to-read handout for family members and other occupants about simple cybersecurity precautions. They should also be familiar with (or check with counsel or a consultant on) laws like GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and FERPA and how they are being interpreted today.”
– Lance Hoffman, Professor at The George Washington State University
“In terms of the shift to telehealth and the change for risk management continues to rely heavily on ensuring employee virus software is up-to-date, phishing filters are installed, employees are trained to understand the need to be skeptical and prioritizing your resources. As a CISO, besides these, it is important to understand your threats (usually based on your environment and customer base) and determine the potential damage if there was a loss. What would your potential impacts be and then quantify the damage in order to develop a model prioritizing your resources. Risk management and security need to come first, not last in order to be ahead of it or prepared for it as much as possible. It is also important to re-evaluate every 3-6 months depending on the nature of your organization, as technology and cyber threats continue to evolve.”
– Michelle Moore, Professor of Practice at University of San Diego