the recession has you rethinking your marketing strategy or
plan, or if you are concerned about how your crew is handling
the uncertainty with each other and with customers, it may
be time to assess what people are really thinking within the
four walls of your organization.
dysfunction in your company's execution of marketing is always
important, but it is never more important than when times
are tough. You must have a team approach to your fight on
the recession's impact. But to have a team approach, you must
have buy-in from employees to the marketing strategy. And,
to truly have buy-in, you must must engage your employees
from the very beginning of your planning (or re-planning)
So, where do you start? To get the best results, we recommend
the following process:
it Easy. Use a web survey tool (i.e. surveymonkey.com)
to promote participation. This makes it quick and convenient
for teh participant and allows you to quickly compile the
it Inclusive. Make sure all of your employees participate
(at least one key stakeholder, from Accounting, to IT, to
Sales, to the Executive branch. It is important that each
team member complete the survey on their own (not as a group).
It's important you break through group dynamics and get to
individual perspectives. This is where the true power of this
it Comprehensive. Be thorough in your questions,
but focus on these key areas:
- Brand Positioning. Ask employees to define what
your company does and for whom, and what makes you different
than the alternative (why do your customers buy from YOU).
From their responses, assess if anyone has made adjustments
to your positioning due to the weak economy or competitive
pressure (i.e. describing your products as inexpensive when
they are actually premium, or placing different priorities
on specific features and benefits). If your company’s
positioning is not being accurately reflected back at you,
you must find out why and determine your course of action.
It's vital you are all on the same page and are all reflecting
the brand position accurately and consistently...while also
addressing the special circumstances this economy brings.
- Business Goals. Does your entire team truly understand
your business goals? Have you defined them beyond an annual
revenue goal? Your team needs to understand and be committed
to the same goals. Always. This not only supports the brand,
and ultimately sales, it ensures that everyone is playing
on the same team. It is this kind of support for the business
and marketing plan, and for each other, that will get you
through the current economic crisis.
- Competition. Understanding what your competitors
are up to is very important in any economic climate. We all
know this, yet we can get tunnel vision. Your employees can
often give you the up-to-date information on what they hear
from customers, prospects, and colleagues about how your competitors
are behaving in this downturn. This is information that will
not only help you in the near-term, but it will also help
you emerge stronger when the market turns around.
a cross-functional survey ensures all perspectives within
your organization are heard. Each and every time we survey
our client’s organizations (as well as our own) we are
rewarded with surprises, affirmations, and most importantly,
relevant information that we can act upon… immediately.