Friday, August 29, 2008

No Country For Old Marketing

If You're Pining For the "Good Ole Days", You're History In Today's Marketplace

By David Miranda

Pundits opine daily whether the country is in a recession or merely a "slowdown" as the President recently described the present economic malaise.

Whatever term one decides to use, the fact is that record foreclosures, credit card debt, trade and budget deficits, and gas prices; declining value of the dollar; 48 million uninsured citizens; soft housing market; a credit crunch and a volatile stock market set the stage make for a challenging time moving forward for marketers.

What companies will do is predictable - they will contract and adapt to survive or be added to the "endangered species list". In a slowdown or recession, there is a "culling of the herd".

In this environment, advertising and promotion will not solve their company's revenue problems. As a matter of fact, desperate measures by desperate competitors could exascerbate the problem.

This is no country for old marketing.

What to do?

  1. Don't panic.

  2. Recognize and protect your base (your most loyal and frequent customers) from being "poached" by competitors.

  3. Improve your price/value offering to consumers, i.e. adding value rather than reducing price.

  4. Manage "stratactically", i.e. although economic slowdowns are typically characterized by tactical warfare, always consider the strategic implications of your tactics. Example: reducing prices instead of adding value will have long term negative implications on revenue and margins.

  5. Be proactive, not reactive. A "me-too" tactical approach, i.e. waiting to see what the other guys are doing, can be fatal in a hyper-competitive environment.

  6. Amputate anything that is extraneous to success, i.e. products, services, people.

  7. Get back to basics.
Now get on with it.