Tactical Marketing in a Challenging Environment

It really does seem as if the business world is a football that has been kicked into another park. All the planning and forecasting is now having to be re-written in the context of a very different operating environment. Activity has speeded up in some areas and ground to a halt in others. But what exactly can businesses do when it comes to marketing at such a tough time?

All the basic principles apply. Who are your customers, what do they need/want, why should they choose you, what segments exist within the market place and what makes you better placed than others to serve them are essential questions.

The answers to those questions could be fundamentally different now than they were only a few months ago. As such some refocussing and some new messages are needed. Some new segments might need to be explored.

As I write for B2B marketers the following sectors look busy, the public sector, aspects of the logistics sector, some retailers and sadly some aspects of the health sector and business support sector. Consumer marketers report that food is obviously busy but also home games and garden items as well as seeds are buoyant. In short in all down turns there are new opportunities.

Tactically a reappraisal may be required. Some people focus their marketing around personal networking, events and maybe exhibitions. Now online communications dominate more than ever with an explosion of communication channels across and methodologies. The tactical mix businesses employ need to reflect this. Sitting back and waiting for the old reality to come back is probably not good enough.

The targets, messages, channels and campaigns need to be adjusted and quickly. There are real threats here – but there are opportunities too. Marketing if anything becomes even more important in a downturn, although campaign spend will no doubt need to be restricted in most businesses.

Steve Bedford