Continuity Planning, Clear Comms, & Plan for Dynamic Trajectories

Recently, the Ricciardi Group had the opportunity to provide guidance and advice to financial service marketers alongside others named to Gramercy Institute’s Financial Agency Short List. We are humbled to have been provided this opportunity to help other financial marketers. We were asked the question:

What advice do you have for senior marketers at major financial firms, as they seek to advance their marketing objectives during these uncertain and changing circumstances?

Here is what our very own Jay DiPietro had to say:

The Financial Services industry is no stranger to adversity and disaster, having overcome various large scale disasters ranging from the tragedy on 9/11/01, the fear stemming from the 2004 Madrid terror attacks, and the effects of Hurricane Sandy across lower Manhattan. It has been 52 years since the last flu pandemic, and while this may feel like new territory, it is not unprecedented. Situations like the current COVID-19 outbreak are exactly why firms and the regulatory industry spend so much time thinking through robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

While there are basics for approaching unprecedented events, the most important is to plan for the unplanned. As marketers, here are a few best practices we can deploy in crisis situations.

Brush off disaster recovery and business continuity plans: Review these robust and adapted plans, follow their guidance and ensure that you have a strong understanding of what you may need to do next depending on how the situation evolves.

Identify your hats for clear communication channels: Most firms will end up needing to wear three distinct hats: an “internal” hat, an “external” hat and a “community” hat. For Internal Communications, make sure that you have a key spokesperson identified (consistency is key) and a plan to proactively update employees at regular intervals. Inform external stakeholders as to the status of their interests to instill a sense of unshakable stability, no matter the situation. Finally, you have a responsibility to your local communities to contribute to the well-being of all and to take precautions to decrease any potential negative affects the firm might have.

Plan for dynamic trajectories: At the Ricciardi Group, we developed a tool for planning for dynamic trajectories based on Hurricane path models. We can understand with a relatively high degree of confidence how the situation will evolve in the near-term, but as we look further out, we must prepare ourselves for a wider set of potential scenarios.