Pivot. Extension. The new normal.
As the everyday vernacular of our crisis evolves, so too does the variety of views on possible recovery…
The long road. Snap back. Tough times ahead.
The list is endless, yet organisations are facing two very immediate and pertinent questions: does our current marketing approach match the evolving reality of the post-COVID market, and if not, how does this need to change?
Regardless of the pivot, the realignment, or the refocus, our view at BrandMatters is that marketing cannot be successful without holding true to marketing fundamentals, fundamentals that have proved essential across industry, geography and time. Fundamentals act as the guide for decision making, and provide the structure to calmly evaluate market opportunities.
These revised conditions require challenging thinking and a deep interrogation of your existing marketing plan. Many organisations will fail to effectively review their existing marketing plan and shift it appropriately for the post-COVID era. But what constitutes a future-proof marketing plan and how can it help assist organisations in flux?
The basic outline for a marketing plan provides the road map to qualify our new reality for businesses of any industry type:
Understanding your environment as of today is essential. In our current crisis, this becomes a continual monitoring process. A market overview needs to take into consideration:
• A ” helicopter” view of the market and which brands service the market – Have brands that once serviced the market shifted their strategic and operational focus to capitalise upon new opportunities? Has there been a shift in specialisation focus for your immediate market?
• Environmental analysis including competitive, economic, political and legislative
• Analysis of an organisation’s product and/or service to evaluate fit to current market conditions.
In this climate, your competitors are already active and planning. In order to gain competitive advantage, it’s essential to understand:
• Your major competitor(s) in relation to key segments – how have they shifted their services? Are there new/different competitors in your market from those that came before?
• Their current and expected strategies – have they shifted their go-to-market strategies to reflect changes in market demand? What does this mean for you?
• The strengths or weakness of each competitor and understanding that these are not what they were before
• The levels of consolidation or expansion within the industry
• Their market positioning and unique selling points (USP) – is their positioning still realistic/feasible for current conditions? Can you look to capitalise on their decisions and changes to solidify your own market positioning?
What do you have already to hand, and what do you know? List out all your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Your competition? Defining their relative strengths and weaknesses provides context of your relative strength and competitiveness. Without fail this analysis will be significantly different to the last time it completed.
Target Market & Segmentation
Our markets are now changing swiftly, as is their wants/needs, and so we need to (re)define our audience targets:
• Demographic and psychographic
• Attitudinal and personality
Now, we can define their revised needs/wants and expectations.
Our objectives, both in terms of market share and revenue targets, need to reflect the realities of the changed world. Your marketing objectives will revolve around the following:
• Improve perceived market positioning
• Commensurate increase in market share
• Increase brand strength in the eyes of stakeholders and customers
• Increase the strength of and buy in of your brand by your staff
• Recreate your thought leadership strategy to reach new and different audiences
Brand is made up of the thousands of interactions your customers have with your brand. The classic services marketing mix, from which we can achieve our objectives, is captured in the 7 Ps:
Traditionally, these tactical joysticks have be pushed and pulled for different purposes in our marketing strategies. But understanding that the most appropriate marketing mix strategy for this period is the key takeaway here, and whether your existing strategies reflect the appetite in the market. Answering this question will provide an insight into whether your overarching marketing strategy is correct for the post-COVID context.
This essentially comprises marketing activity eg What, when, how and who. It should contain a wide mix of elements such as events, web, sales tools, PR, advertising and so on.
The market’s appetite for marketing activity has shifted dramatically since the onset of the coronavirus. Determining whether your marketing calendar output still reflects these changes is essential in understanding the levels of engagement you will achieve with your marketing activity.
Tracking success is now critical to determine if your adjusted product/service provision meets the needs and wants of your targets. Through tracking, you are able to determine cut through and shifts in customer perceptions and attitudes.
Marketing for the post-COVID-19 world
BrandMatters is assisting organisations across multiple industries in re-evaluating their marketing activity and bringing back the fundamentals to ensure they are match fit for the post-COVID context.
Our productised marketing activation solution enables organisations to evaluate their market, identify opportunities and strategies to achieve success, and deploy marketing plans and calendars that are accountable, actionable and manageable.
If your organisation needs assistance in evolving your marketing to meet the demands of the new market, get in touch with the BrandMatters team here.