In tough times many competitors will hunker down or circle their wagons, and those that make the informed and faster decisions will get ahead. Buyers will focus on their needs, not their wants, but buyers are still buyers even when they buy less, and businesses that deliver the best overall value not the lowest price will thrive. Decision-makers in local "startups" and national marketers alike must seek to understand customer trends and monitor specific usage and consumption patterns to anticipate, plan and execute effective business and marketing strategies.
Grasp your customer: Consumer brands and retailers in highly active categories with the temptation to hold back marketing spending can defy conventional wisdom by assessing how category players are perceived in the buyer’s mindset and act on it. This person the product is for: What do they believe? Who do they trust? What do they seek? What are they afraid of? You as a marketer can change your story but you cannot change the view of the person you’re trying to sell to.
Seek efficiencies: Business and unit leaders must seek efficiencies, train their people and assess how service trends and technological innovations will impact business efficiencies in the short, medium and long term. Then get the edge by making those efficiencies work in favor of your customers delivering true overall value and communicating it often. If you cannot make your customers love you and repeat business with you, you’ll never make your CEO happy.
Master your business: As you get to know more and more what makes your customers love your business or brand you’ll find yourself in a good place to seek efficiencies around those aspects, and repeat to please your customer again and again. Identify a set of fears, dreams, and attitudes and then figure out what sort of story can be fit in a way that delights your buyer. Then make it perfect!
We all have the responsibility to seek wisdom and use it to improve our businesses to better our communities and seek constant economic growth. Chief troublemaker, Josh Bernoff once said: “We’re all learning here; the best listeners will end up the smartest.” It’s is a good way to start turning things around.