Every time the economy takes a down turn, the first thing that many businesses (unwisely in my opinion) cut is marketing and advertising budgets.
To me, this makes no sense at all. If every one out there is doing this, then the one business that doesn't
do it has the most chance of capturing market share from competitors!
But hey, that's just my view.
But here's the thing...just because the economy slows, doesn't mean that consumers stop spending - just look at the latest consumer debt figures and that tells the story!
As the market reacts to the slow growth in South Africa, the strategically savvy should be taking an aggressive approach to securing the survival of their business and that is investing in gaining deeper insight into the market conditions and consumer trends.
As the market conditions evolve and change, companies should now be looking at investing in research to determine strategy for increasing market presence in the mind of consumers to ensure that they
rather than their competitor are the first choice.
Perhaps, but let's follow this out.
"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."
With the competitive pressure on, the one that has the most knowledge on the market conditions going forward has the clear edge.
Taking a step back to survey the land before
you build, will reap the benefits in time to come.
While others may be reacting
, you can be proactive
by gaining real consumer insight into how, what, when and how much as the market conditions progress.
This way, you can ensure you adapt fastest to the changing conditions and consumer demands and even find a way to improve your offering by being flexible.
Especially in the digital sphere, user experience testing will provide you with valuable insight as to how to deliver a more positive interaction with your customers and results from those insights may even surprise you!
If you are in retail, a customer experience option may be better as this will deliver an objective overview on the true perception of your offering from the consumer's view and allow to implement effective changes ahead of your competition.
Moving with the tide
Surely if the pundits are predicting a slow down, this would call for a shift in strategy-even a temporary one.
Trying to treat different symptoms with the same medicine borders along the definition of insanity.
We all know that the consumer market is a finicky, restless beast that can shift direction without warning and stampede off in any direction. Having said that however, there is a certain aspect of consistency as well - and that is that people will still buy and while some may hold back for a while, there are others that will forge ahead regardless.
It comes down to whether choices will be made from fear or from courage.
Taking the path of knowing will always yield more consistent, extended results that swinging wildly and hoping for the best.
Our challenge as business owners is to understand that business, like everything else on this planet and in our universe moves in cycles and moving with the current is far easier than moving against it.
The current gives you momentum and a chance to ride the wave that most are afraid to.
While there is risk (as with anything) a well-crafted strategy based on real knowledge and insight, delivered from a professional and objective methodology provides security in execution and satisfaction in reward.