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Marketing Planning – the key to recovery

30 October 2009

As of yesterday the world recession is over!

GDP numbers in the US market which is the world’s largest economy have started to grow. These are the early stages of the recovery for the US and Ireland as a small open economy will certainly follow albeit more slowly.

Ireland continues to have enormous problems but it is time to start planning for the recovery.

The appropriate and necessary management action in times of recession has been to cut costs in order to survive. Many business owners have reduced headcounts, wage costs and cut all but the most essential costs from the business. Those who have survived have trimmer, leaner, healthier business that will be fit for the recovery.

However now as the bottom has been reached in the world’s largest market it is time to start thinking and planning for the recovery. Clearly in Ireland it is not yet time to rush out and start spending but it is time to start planning.

A change of focus is required that moves us from survival to growth. No company has ever built their business on cost cutting measures alone. When the turnaround happens the top line will once again become the priority.

Now is a great time to dust off the Marketing Plans and Business Development Plans. Companies need to start asking themselves all of the traditional marketing questions e.g.

  • Have any market trends emerged during the recession?
  • What will be the core markets that we will be focussing on – identify key targets?
  • What will be our plan of attack?
  • What will pricing look like? Is there an opportunity for a price increase in the future?
  • When will be the best time to launch the new products or service?
  • What type of marketing support programmes will I put in place?
  • Have marketing costs changed? You can be sure that they have. Can I gain early adopter advantage by starting early?
  • Do I have a good a digital marketing strategy e.g. web sites, email marketing. Do I know how to even answer this question?
  • What about recruitment – who will I need in my team? Now could be a great time to start the recruitment process.
  • Do I have the right marketing suppliers to help me get this right?

Marketing will be the key to your recovery and growth after this painful recession. Planning is the first stage of the process. Remember that planning doesn’t cost anything and the plan itself is less important than the thoughts that will occur to you during the planning process.

A Marketing Plan Clichés:

  • If you fail plan – you are planning to fail.