We’re almost midway through Q1 of 2010, if your business is still going through a tough time, you’re not alone. Perhaps it’s time to review your cost cutting measures or reexamine your value proposition to your customers.
McKinsey Quarterly recently published “The downturn’s new rules for marketers,” which suggests new ways to look at marketing in this post-recession era. Here are some key points from the article:
– To weather the storm, it will be necessary to identify anew who and where the profitable customers are and to prioritize the most effective marketing and sales vehicles for reaching them.
– The old tactic of focusing on historically profitable regions and customer groups will miss the mark. Instead, marketing and sales executives must reprioritize geographic markets and customer segments at every shift of economic fortune.
– Business-to-business (B2B) companies must go a step further. A fresh look at segments isn’t enough; instead, such companies must reexamine their opportunities and risks on a customer-by-customer basis.
– No matter how a company arrives at its quality assessment, the real power comes from combining that analysis with data on the reach and cost of an advertising vehicle. This combination of reach, cost, and quality helps marketers compare the impact of different vehicles on an “apples to apples” basis—the key to effective prioritzation.
– Companies that follow the playbook from past recessions will probably chase markets and segments made less attractive by the present downturn and focus too many resources on traditional marketing vehicles and frontline salespeople. To avoid these costly mistakes, marketing and sales executives must dynamically reassess their geographic, customer, advertising, and sales force priorities, with constant attention to the ever-shifting economics of this downturn.
The take away: It’s time to check under the hood of your marketing vehicles. Not just from a marketing perspective but from a brand’s perspective to focus on customer-centric strategies in order to improve the overall brand value. What’s your value to your customers? Can you differentiate? How do you stay relevant? How will your reprioritize your business opportunities? Marketing is no longer owned by the marketing department only, consider a more fluid approach in coming up with your new marketing playbook. We must adopt a marketing strategies that mimic the lives of our consumers and how they choose to interact with brands.