Australia may have been doomed to follow the world into recessions past, but some dire predictions notwithstanding, there’s a real sense of optimism on this occasion that we can ride the storm and come out stronger than many nations.
Already, many of our technology clients are talking up the opportunities of using the downturn to build genuine competitive advantage, whether that’s through enhanced collaboration, a more virtualised IT environment, or simply ‘doing more with less’.
The CEO of one of NSW’s largest technology resellers, and a client of ours, recently said to me, “In times of increased competition, the strong come out stronger”. This firm is clearly looking to capitalise on the business and brand investments it has made to date, and has seen how tough economic conditions are threatening some of its nearest competitors.
Of course, every company is different, and is going to deal with the economic conditions differently. But what’s likely to be universal is that your marketing budget is going to get tighter – and you’re probably going to be tasked with achieving more with less.
Measurement and planning for better ROI
It’s a good idea to undertake a planning session to start with. Here, you get to the essence of your business and branding objectives by reviewing your target markets, reviewing the channel dynamics, and analysing your own position in the minds of your customers.
From there, you look at your different messaging as it’s geared to varying audiences – end-user verticals, vendors, distributors, the media and business partners. Work out what communications materials you require, and examine the use of touch points so each communications piece is saying the right things, to the right people at the right time. This is all about understanding your customers’ buying process.
This insight can then be boiled down into a simple 12-month communications plan which plots your desired course of action and ties your sales and marketing activities more closely together. When you build this communications plan, another handy tactic is to dovetail your offer or campaign with an event that is drawing much attention and commentary in the industry.