Viewpoints heart More With Less heart Strategic Planning

Your business can thrive with the right action plan.

When the economy tightens it’s wise to adapt your strategy in order to stay ahead in your marketplace.

Businesses across all categories who have focused on strategic approach plans have historically fared far better than their competition during the tough times.

You don’t need a big budget but rather a tailored approach to identify specific actions which will best serve your business goals and objectives. The right actions today can keep your business going strong, remaining ahead of your competition and emerging from a downturn far stronger.

Here are specific brand, messaging and marketing actions to consider —

Review and adapt your messaging.

Assess whether your current brand positioning resonates with your target audience in the current economic climate. Consider tailoring your brand messages to best align with the changing needs and sentiments of your customers and prospects.

Adopt a customer-centric approach.

Focus on a deeper understanding of your target markets’ evolving needs and priorities and leverage messaging to address those needs, communicating value and support.

Place renewed emphasis on outstanding customer service efforts to ensure retention of existing customers. For many businesses, an existing customer base remains a steady source of revenue and is more cost effective than the cost of acquiring new customers.

For your existing customer base, consider implementing loyalty programs or other special offers to incentivize repeat business.

Finally, ensure that your staff remains motivated, well-trained and well-equipped to provide superior customer service.

Focus on your digital assets.

Be sure that your digital presence keeps pace with your business offer — invest in your online presence to be current for your customers and fit for purpose to support your marketing efforts. More and more, customers have turned to online research and shopping.

Also, be sure to leverage low cost channels like social media and email marketing to reach and engage your audience cost-effectively.

Consider content marketing.

If applicable to your offer or service, create valuable, informative content that addresses your customers' and prospects’ pain points and establishes your brand as an authority in your category. Content marketing can be a highly cost-effective strategy, helping to build long-term trust with your audience.

Perform market research.

Routinely monitor market trends and your competitor actions to remain informed and compare your own strategy. Consider collecting feedback from your customers directly to improve your offer and services.

Implement cost controls.

We’d be remiss not to mention a thorough review of your marketing spend to develop a realistic understanding of the results you are achieving from each tactic. You may be able to find areas where you can cut unnecessary expenses without compromising results. What we don’t recommend is an across the board ‘trim’ of your marketing budget but rather applying strategic rigor to your analysis, allowing you to optimize spend by concentrating on the most effective tactics, channels and campaigns.

Beyond brand, marketing and messaging, what are some other actions that may be important to consider?

Adapt your product and service offer.

Assess whether you can adapt or expand your product or service offerings to meet changing demands. Consider diversification of your offer to reduce reliance on a single revenue stream.

Deploy flexible pricing strategies.

Consider offering discounts, bundled packages, or flexible payment options to attract price-conscious consumers. Routinely monitor your competitors' pricing strategies and adjust yours accordingly.

Consider networking and partnerships.

You may have options to join forces. Collaborate with complementary businesses in order to tap into new customer bases and share resources. Networking and partnerships can lead to opportunities that can help your business — and others’ — thrive together.

The takeaway.

In a challenging market, it’s critical to keep a long-term perspective in mind. Tough economic periods are temporary and those businesses that strategically weather the storm with smart actions often emerge stronger.

Lovely People can help you create a strategic approach plan that’s right for your business, right now. Let’s talk.

Read the whole series. Do more, with less.