Fight the Recession's Impact--Engage your Employees

If 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.

Removing 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) process!

So, where do you start? To get the best results, we recommend the following process:

Make 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 results.

Make 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 process lives.

Make 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.

Performing 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.






























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