Ten ways of profiting from tough times
Some of the best business ideas and many great global brands were born during the recession of the early 1970s, proving that tough times can be turned into profitable times. And with marketing being such an important factor in business today, here are ten ways of beating the tough times.
9 Mar 2009 11:30
- Of course you have to cut marketing budgets. But, be clever about it. A simple audit will show how much "fat" crept in during the good times and that can now be trimmed. It will also show what worked last year but won't work now. Cut that as well. Make sure that what is left can work to maximum effciency.
- Pay more attention to the needs of your customers by ensuring that everyone in your organisation knows how to treat them. Make your entire staff stand up every morning, put their hands on their hearts and say: "It's not what we want to say, it's what our customers want to hear."
- Apply Zero Budget Departure to all new marketing projects, particularly advertising and PR campaigns to ensure that you squeeze every cent's worth of value out of what you spend.
- Make sure that you are absolutely up to speed on the dangers and opportunities present themselves by monitoring what your customers are saying, doing and complaining about on social networking sites. New undersea cables and massive advances in technology this year will see more and more consumers using social networking to complain about brands, products and services. Don't be left behind on this. And the good news, it's actually very cheap to get an efficient system set up.
- Don't be tempted to outsource your online customer service monitoring. That's far too much of a dangerous game to play. You have to do it in-house and anyway, customers want to deal with you and not an outsider.
- If your PR and advertising teams aren't working together - get them to do so with urgency. These are not times for prima donnas or anyone being precious about their territory. PR can hugely enhance the effectiveness of classical advertising. Tell them to shape up or ship out.
- If the CEO and other senior executives are not positioning themselves and the company in the media, they need to do so quickly. Get them trained. Get them to enjoy the experience and not hate it. There is a lot of free publicity out there. You can't afford not to take it.
- Most of all, don't just use bits and pieces of the marketing mix. That's dangerous. Marketing is not just about branding or big ideas. It is about applying the whole marketing mix to every product or service to make sure that everything is working in unison. R50 billion rand a year is wasted on inefficient marketing in South Africa because of the marketing mix checklist being ignored.
- Try and get all your senior execs and especially marketing people to go back and have a look at the fundamentals of marketing. It is amazing how many marketers forget some of the basics. And forgetting the basics can be costly. That where a lot of that wasted R50 billion comes in.
- Fact - everything in marketing is measurable. No "ifs or "buts". In the good times one can take chances. But, this is not time to take chances and risk wasting marketing money. Get those measurement tools in before you start. That's vital.
About Chris Moerdyk
Apart from being a corporate marketing analyst, advisor and media commentator, Chris Moerdyk
is a former chairman of Bizcommunity. He was head of strategic planning and public affairs for BMW South Africa and spent 16 years in the creative and client service departments of ad agencies, ending up as resident director of Lindsay Smithers-FCB in KwaZulu-Natal. Email Chris on moc.liamg@ckydreom
and follow him on Twitter at @chrismoerdyk