Develop a marketing recovery plan for an individual business
The impact of the Covid-19 global pandemic on businesses has been far-reaching and has been a catalyst for change in many markets bringing new challenges and new opportunities. Using the learning you have acquired during this module as well as your own research, develop a marketing recovery plan for an individual business within the market you have researched. The marketing recovery plan (or post-Covid plan) should focus on how the business might meet the challenges and exploit the new opportunities.
The plan should include the following elements:
A strategic analysis of
the business strengths & weaknesses
the market, including customers and competitors (this section must include the use of at least one strategic marketing planning tool such as SWOT, PESTLE, Porter’s 5 Forces, Ansoff’s Matrix)
A suggested strategy(s) that the business should adopt e.g. differentiation, cost-leadership, specialization
How the strategy should be implemented (marketing mix), with a particular focus on areas of growing importance e.g.
Services and the extended marketing mix
Focus on high-potential customers. Make sure you focus on building relationships with ambitious customers in growth industries where pent-up demand is going to be unleashed once the economy turns the corner. If you’re running a B2C business, focus on cash-rich or long-term-oriented consumers to lead you into recovery. But don’t forget to stock up to take advantage of the pent-up demand that will be unleashed once other consumers get their confidence back.
Don’t assume a return to normal. The longer and deeper the recession, the more likely consumers will adjust their attitudes and behaviors permanently. Their coping mechanisms may become ingrained and define a new normal. In addition, the competitive landscape will have changed. A competitive shakeout along with new product launches may mean consumers are looking at your products and services through new lenses. Listen closely to your customers and revise your market segmentation assumptions.
Assess your target customers’ trust in your brand. Clearly, trust in financial services brands has taken a beating. Many well-known brands like Merrill Lynch will simply never win back consumer confidence; if you are working for such a brand, dust off your CV and move on. But bad behavior in the financial services sector has bruised trust in all corporate brands. Confirm that your target customers still trust you but plan to add service support and hold their hand more firmly in the short term, even though your service quality, measured objectively, has remained constant.
Stay focused on costs. Many manufacturing industries (as opposed to services industries) are plagued by global overcapacity, relative even to pre-recession demand. Combined with excess inventories in the supply chain, especially in consumer durables, the result will be continuing downward pressure on prices. Economic recovery will not allow producers to let up on tightening cost controls and improving productivity
Know your lead indicators. Every good marketer knows the specific indicators, macro or micro, that predict demand for his or her product in the next period. Use common sense. If the Wal-Mart parking lot looks less crowded, some consumers are probably migrating back to Target and vice versa.
Develop scenarios. How long the current recession will last is widely debated. And whether the eventual economic recovery will be gradual or dramatic is equally unknown. Marketers planning for 2009 and 2010 should bear in mind Peter Drucker’s wise advice: “A strategy is a sense of direction around which to improvise.” Know how you can source supplies and expand distribution in a hurry if demand suddenly spikes.
Don’t wait for permission. Most companies will not begin reinvesting until the Wall Street Journal or Ben Bernanke officially declare the recovery underway. Get ahead of the crowd. Craft your recovery plan now, and pull the trigger when your lead indicators say go.