Business planning and marketing strategy go hand in hand. In normal circumstances, your strategy outlines your goals and how you’re planning to go about achieving them. But as we have seen this year, things don’t always go to plan. Your business needs to be prepared for times of uncertainty and your marketing strategy needs to adapt.
This can be daunting. But we’ve put together five key points to consider during times of uncertainty to help your business succeed:
Preparing with new data
Instead of sticking to your marketing strategy based on last year’s projections, you need to take stock of the changing circumstances as they occur. Use current data to assess your customers’ needs, how you can meet them and adapt your strategy. You’re not abandoning your business plan by altering the path you take; it’s just taking a detour and we’ve seen that it can be very successful when done right.
Auditing your existing marketing strategy
Before you think about scaling back your existing marketing strategy, you might want to take a step back and look at where your budget is best placed. Which areas are seeing the highest conversion rates? Hint – it may be completely different areas from ‘normal’ times. What marketing strategy is implemented in those areas? Which aspects of the business plan need help, and can these more successful techniques be used there? In times of uncertainty, you need methods that are proven to work and implementing these from one area of your business to the other is one way to address shortcomings without eating into your budget.
Getting others on board
It’s natural for others in your business to want to scale back marketing strategy to save pennies in times of uncertainty. But this isn’t always the best option for a business. Now is the time to be visible and show your support to customers and clients. You need to adapt not freeze. It’s important to communicate the benefits of adapting your marketing strategy, rather than abandoning it completely. And this needs to be done as clearly as possible. Getting others on board with your strategy, especially in a time of uncertainty, is as much a part of business as selling a product.
Making sure you have flexibility
You can plan to your heart's content but that won’t help when you’re thrown a curveball like COVID-19. Organisations that factored uncertainty into their business plans and marketing strategy had the room and resources to adapt. They kept an eye out for fluctuations and addressed them swiftly. Nothing is set in stone so your marketing strategy shouldn’t be either.
Review, review, review
This point feeds into the previous one but is equally as important. You won’t know what is working and what isn’t if you don’t stay on the pulse. Reviewing your marketing strategy regularly in times of uncertainty will ensure you keep up to date on the latest consumer trends and make sure you are optimising your business to the fullest. To keep on top of this, schedule in your strategy reviews weekly to make sure your business has ample time to adjust and doesn’t get left behind.
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The main objective of your marketing strategy during periods of uncertainty is to capitalise on what’s working and adapt as best as you can. Make sure you’re constantly evaluating the data and adjusting to keep your business on track.