Use your marketing strategy to avoid business failure

Use your marketing strategy to avoid business failure

We all had our plans for 2020 set out.

Many large companies had their annual strategic retreats in October 2019 and the forecasts and risks for the year were laid out and agreed upon at the highest level. For the smaller companies, January was the month for the staff getaways and the brainstorm sessions. All across the globe, there were new strategic themes, new catchy mottos to increase staff engagement, contracts signed, alliances made, calendars printed and shared, proposals sent out, venues booked out, travel planned, presentations planned, job interviews scheduled and the list can go on and on. No-one can fault the optimism that greets the first quarter in many sectors.

And then came Covid-19, and to us here in Uganda, it was a Chinese problem, then an Italian problem….then with only one case, our government initiated a lock-down. Suddenly it was a Ugandan problem as well. And nothing, no scenario planning, no management guru, no strategic consultant of any caliber could have prepared the world of business today for the shutdown that we have faced for the past 3 weeks.

Almost overnight, many of our businesses have now been classified as non-essential. The threat of layoffs and unemployment is no longer a rumor. Previously thriving hospitality, travel and personal service industries are no longer operational. In fact, most products or services that require the movement of human beings to access are now in the red corner.

On the flip side, we have seen a growth in home delivery services as businesses have had to adapt or die. For those businesses that had set up digital access, the effects have been marginal; in fact many are seeing a boom, with share prices going up at a time when others are seeing red and bankruptcy. Others have scrambled to update their websites, develop apps etc.

No matter what business you are in, the times call for us to rethink and re-strategize and avoid analysis paralysis. The first thing we need to do is a Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats analysis. If yours is a small business, get a family member or call a friend to work with on this.

Strengths (list your company strengths here)Weaknesses (list your company weaknesses here)
Opportunities (list the opportunities you see for
your business)
Threats (list the threats to your business here)
When done well and authentically, the above exercise should give you a few pointers to address your weaknesses, explore new opportunities and minimize the threats to your existence.

In Marketing 101, we are taught the Ps of marketing so let me use them to give you some key
guidelines.

  1. Your Product/Service: What is your product/service? How has it been affected by the lockdown? Why has it been affected? If you could change anything about your product/service, what would it be, so as to ensure business continuity?
  2. Your Pricing: What was your pricing before the lockdown? Do you think you can afford the same pricing model once the lockdown ends? Do you have a discount strategy?
  3. Your Place: How is your product or service delivered to the end-consumer? What needs to change to ensure business continuity?
  4. Your Product/Service Promotion: How do your customers get to know about your products/services? Do you have online presence? How are you using social media to grow your brand awareness?
  5. Your Processes: What are your production processes? What is your attitude towards technology and automation?
  6. Your People: What is your structure? How many people do you employ? How has the lockdown affected their employability? Look at your people through the lens of the skills they bring to you. What skills are essential for your business?
It is possible for us to survive and thrive in this season, but it is going to need us to do some planning.

If you need to talk to an advisor or consultant call us today, and let’s get cracking on providing you with marketing solutions.

Author:

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