Entering December, it is time to close plans and budget for the next year. We Brazilians are already used to planning in the midst of uncertainty, but let’s agree that this year is much more difficult.
On the one hand, we have the prospect of a lot of socio-political turmoil due to next year’s elections. And along with this turmoil come economic bumps: high inflation, rising interest rates, pressured exchange rates, unemployment and general instability.
On the other hand, however, there is the post-pandemic distension, with the prospect of finally having the freedom to act freely, without the restrictions imposed by the most acute period of Covid-19. This is already sensible in 2021 in the events market, for example.
The last two months of the year are being marked by a great upswing in business, with the resumption of events of all sizes. The São Paulo Formula 1 GP was an example. Seeing the grandstands full again was heartening (by the way, see my article on F-1).
It’s also great to see the stadiums full again. This all gives the feeling that the live marketing business has what it takes to get a boost in 2022. Three touches on wood.
The difficulty, therefore, is in imagining the weights of this scale. How much will the sociopolitical-economic turmoil be able to weigh and neutralize the heating of business in an area that, after a damming period of almost two years, is experiencing an almost euphoria with jobs returning?
Bars, restaurants, face-to-face entertainment and commerce in general are also enjoying a good moment of total release for their activities, after a huge struggle.
Everything can be justified by people’s desire to return to face-to-face activities, to leave home and interact with friends, without the limitations of before. But what about when everything settles down?
People need money to go out, have fun, consume. If the economic situation weighs too much, what about? And the home office issue. Will continue? It is said that the hybrid system must prevail. What is the impact of this on economic movement? What will happen to all those restaurants that depended on busy offices to serve workers at lunchtime? Many issues to be resolved.
And there is also the resurgence of the pandemic, which is showing its claws again with the so-called Ômicron variant. What if there’s a new wave around the world? Argh! Get out there with that thought! But planning is necessary. Even if only to have plan A, plan B, plan Z…
Regardless of external threats, we have to do the entire SWOT analysis, identifying not only the threats, strengths and weaknesses, but also the opportunities. For this, it is necessary to take care of another variable that cannot be missing from the annual plans, which is the aspect of innovation.
Each and every company must pay attention to innovative processes, at the risk of being left behind. In other words, in addition to taking care of what is already consolidated – which is no small thing –, it is necessary to allocate time and resources to prospect for disruptive paths. There was a time when I, working at a multinational, had to make five-year plans.
Today, annual plans must provide for quarterly, monthly or non-preset reviews. A competitive company has to think and act like a startup, ready to pivot, pivot, and pivot again.
I reinforce the figure of speech I’ve used before in this space: you need to surf with two boards, one already known and used to the existing waves, and another different one, more agile, prepared to surf irregular and unpredictable waves.
All of this, in theory, is fully acceptable and justifiable, but in practice it is a process to drive managers crazy. Well then, pluck up your courage and attack your planning. If it doesn’t work, go to plan B, plan C…
Alexis Thuller Pagliarini is the CEO of Ampro (Promotional Marketing Association) ([email protected])
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