11 December 2008

Marketing in Times of Recession

What does it mean to market in times of recession and low demand?

This is a new question to many managers, having been spoiled by success. Same - same and business as usual are definitely out.

Nevertheless, some managers are clinging to the old habit of sitting still, waiting for the storm to abate. Hey, it worked in the past.

This time, though, is different and here are some of the reasons for urgent change:
  1. The recessionary business climate will take longer, at the minimum 18 months or - god forbid - even years, so sitting still will lead to insolvency
  2. Global competitors will start to enter new markets, maybe already next month in search of new customers (most probably yours)
  3. The internet and international exchange help to spread innovations much faster, therefore, innovations will be obsolete earlier and will not last until the next up-turn
  4. Lower demand and smaller budgets require lean and more frugal offers, products and solution to be marketed fast
  5. Cost reduction while keeping talents and brain power demands creative approaches in order to develop profitable business in a time of change
  6. Thrifty customers will force everyone, from CEO to engineer to sales rep, to figure out what exactly customer really value so much that they will spend their scarce budget
These reasons - among others - will force CEOs, CMOs, and other managers to think hard and to come up with better market solutions. But not to wait, because time can run out on the ones who come late.

Between the option of cutting costs and the option of pushing for better customer solutions, managers are well advised to overcome the seeming paradox and to do both: developing and delivering better solutions at lower costs.

Now, that is a task worth of managers of our times. What else would they need us for otherwise?