Not a recession, it's the new normal
Posted Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 by Neil Edwards
According to Sir John Gieve, the outgoing Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Britain is at risk of being in recession for the next 10 years.
That being the case, it's about time we adjusted our language and stopped thinking about it as a recession and more as 'the new normal'. If we look back on the last 10 years as exceptional (and let's be fair, not universally enjoyable - the whole process of keeping up with the Jones's and comparing house prices was pretty draining after a while) then we might have more chance of getting on with life.
In the 'new normal' things will not be worse, just different.
The way our customers think will be different, they way they act will be different and they will care about different things. They might even be different people.
Armed with this new mind-set we can set about acquiring the knowledge and insight we need to market effectively.
- Make sure that our relationships with customers, suppliers and staff are in excellent shape
- Identify changing needs and wants and adapt our propositions accordingly
- Stay true to the quality of our brands. Price promotions might hold up volumes in the short term, but will reduce profits and brand value over time
- Continue to invest in new products and services. Try new things. Cutting back on investment, innovation, product quality and customer service will result in a loss of market share that will be impossible to recapture
- Reduce our key objectives to a 'vital few' and focus all of our marketing energy on these
- Review our marketing budgets, invest where we need to and make sure we are running tight ships
- Take advantage of falling media prices to steal a march on the competition
- Recognise what we are very good at and build on it
- Be noticed and stand out from the crowd.
The bottom line is we musn't panic and throw our business strategies out of the window. Customers won't go into hiding. The desire for holidays, new houses, financial services, sales training or whatever it is we offer will still exist, we will just have to work harder to convert that desire into a purchase. Put another way, we will need to give people more and better reasons to make the commitment.
Posted Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 by Neil Edwards
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