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Marketing Tips for Turbulent Times
(Marketing Memo February 2010)

Since Fall, 2008, our "new normality" has been a state of "heightened turbulence and chaos" that challenges leaders in business and government, observe Philip Kottler and John A. Caslione, authors of Chaotics: The Business of Managing and Marketing in the Age of Turbulence (AMCOM: 2009). During turbulent times businesses should be pro-active and correct weaknesses while spotting and seizing new opportunities.

Tips for Marketers in Turbulent Times

Kottler and Caslione urge companies to "increase marketing muscle" and maintain, not reduce, marketing budgets during recessions. Other suggestions for marketing departments are to:

  • "Secure your market share from core customer segments" before seeking new customers.
  • Win market share from competitors that have the same type of customers as your business has.
  • Recognize the pervasive feeling of insecurity, and "sell customers products and services that continue to make them feel safe."
  • Assess marketing programs, and drop marketing programs that aren't working.
  • Protect the prices of your best brands as discounting makes original prices seem inflated. Also, you may not be able to restore the original prices later on.
  • Strengthen your strongest brands and products, and eliminate the weakest.
  • Research customers more than ever because their needs and wants are in flux. Because of this volatility, your current marketing messages could be obsolete.

What type of market research does Winett Associates recommend during unsettled times?

  • Talk with customers and prospects about changes in their situations and shifts in their preferences and buying habits that could impact your company. Online surveys may not pick up these trends.
  • Identify and track moves by competitors that could create opportunities for your company. Such moves include acquisitions, changes in products and product prices, changes in trade show participation, changes in marketing programs, and the formation and dissolution of strategic partnerships.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of advertising and marketing initiatives, particularly initiatives that involve use of new media. Be prepared to experiment.
  • Monitor what others say about your company on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Respond when someone makes a misstatement about your company.

With current market intelligence at your disposal, your will be better able to navigate during stormy times.

Copyright 2011 Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.

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