In times where budgets are being cut and job security is scarce, companies are looking for ways to optimize their spend in all facets of business. As I talk to a variety of marketing executives on a daily basis, the one thing that is common in thought is the importance to strengthen relationships with customers and partners and continue to build new relationships.
In order to do this it is immensely important for marketing and sales to deliver the right messaging to the right person, and do this at the right time across the right medium. B2B selling relies on providing an information conversation that is appropriate to the prospect. In doing this you must have processes and standards in place with as much automation as possible to make these functions more efficient and seamless. The last thing you want to do is downshift your marketing efforts in a bad economy. I realize that the first budget being cut in many organizations will be the marketing budget. That confirms the importance of being efficient as possible with strategic planning.
The International Journal for Research In Marketing recently reported on Marketing in tough times. The study finds that firms entering a recession with a pre-established strategic emphasis on marketing; an entrepreneurial culture; and a sufficient reserve of under-utilized workers, cash, and spare production capacity are best positioned to approach recessions as opportunities to strengthen their competitive advantage.
"Those firms with a strategic emphasis on marketing have already put in place the programs that help them derive value from their marketing activities"
The companies that have the best strategic planning in place will likely start winning the business that traditionally they lost to competition that may be cutting marketing activities, have poor planning or simply no longer exist.