Tap Into Resilience to Capitalize on Changing Circumstances
By Cara Sloman, CEO, Force4 Technology Communications
Whoever coined the phrase, “The only constant is change,” would feel right at home in this era of ongoing disruption. In such a business landscape, only the fittest survive – those who can adapt rapidly and pursue new growth possibilities. Maintaining a competitive edge requires the ability to innovate and demonstrate marketing resilience.
Time to rethink change
Resilient businesses are those that can recover from setbacks, readjust, progress and even thrive. Previous recessions have given us valuable insights on how to modify marketing efforts in difficult economic times. I’ve been through two economic downturns and know from personal experience what it’s like to not only survive but to come out of it stronger. I’ve noticed two opposing perspectives throughout those times:
- The “retrench” perspective is characterized by a fearful withdrawal from critical business drivers such as marketing. Short-sighted cuts can have a disastrous effect on a company’s short- and long-term growth.
- The resilience perspective employs creative thinking to increase the brand’s marketing resilience during uncertain times instead of making sudden, fear-based decisions. When the dust settles, those who continue to spend on marketing during recessions will be the most successful.
While some budget cuts are unavoidable, curbing brand awareness campaigns will not result in a long-term market-leading position. Customers require solutions right now. Buying cycles lengthen during economic downturns, but what is invested now in developing trust and visibility will yield fruit in due time.
Take change and run with it: Four steps
To make clear decisions about when, where and how to act in the midst of change, follow these four steps:
- Re-evaluate business goals: When market adjustments occur, evaluate key objectives and success metrics. A SWOT analysis is a great place to start. Examine your existing business goals in relation to these four categories. If they don’t align, it’s time to make a change.
- Analyze your data: Use the information within your digital communications solutions to identify strengths and shortcomings, track engagement, and make adjustments to your approach as appropriate. Data from platforms like Google Analytics can help you see when and where your customers interact with your brand’s content, as well as which channels are most effective at conveying your message.
- Learn from your customers: Discuss with your sales team what customers are saying as they travel along the buyer’s journey. Learn about the customers’ challenges, what brought them to your brand, and what benefits they’re looking forward to receiving. This will enable your marketing team to develop a more relevant marketing and communication plan and focus on the most promising value propositions.
- Adjust your strategy: The last step is to combine all of this information into one holistic plan. Plan how you and your team will be able to pivot swiftly and successfully. You might be able to reallocate your team’s efforts to focus on major growth opportunities or areas that require more attention. Then, establish milestones for critical components that team members can work toward.
When the dust settles on a market shift, there will be winners and losers. Those who persevered in the face of change will be the winners. A resilient marketing perspective identifies which activities serve immediate goals while also supporting long-term success. Marketers that adopt this perspective can perceive change as an opportunity to innovate rather than retreat, converting what others see as frightening obstacles into branding triumphs.
Whatever you’re facing, we’re here to help. Contact us to learn more.