The survival of the fittest
In the current climate where we have seen many major brand names and businesses faced with the need to cut back and in some cases translate this into redundancies we may well be justified in asking how can we survive? The same question, however, can be turned from a negative into a positive if this becomes the drive to re-assess how our business operates and how can we adapt to the changes we encounter in the market environment around us.

So where does marketing fit in? Well for some, this is the time to tighten our belts and one of the first areas often looked at is cutting the marketing budget. Whether you have a dedicated in-house marketing team, whether it is just one or two people, or whether you bring in marketing resource, as and when you need, it using an external expert, you should see marketing as a way through all the clutter to refine your business strategy.

At a time where many may look for critical short term cost savings by reducing marketing activity, others will see this as an opportunity to move in where others withdraw and capture more market share.

Using the analogy of “survival of the fittest”, the fittest companies are those whose marketing ensures that its products or services best fit the market or customer needs. The fittest is not necessarily the largest, with large sales and marketing teams and large budgets to spend. Success in a tough market is all about being more effective at what we do, not stopping doing what we need to!

Fit for our customers
The basic premise of marketing, of understanding our customers wants and needs and thereby providing products and services which meet these requirements, is no more essential than when there is less of the business cake to go around. Staying close to customers through effective and legally compliant database management, profiling and understanding the changes in our customers buying needs, processes and motivators is an invaluable part of any businesses armoury.

Fit for our target market
New business development is key at most times and identifying new markets may appear to be a lifesaver but ensuring the right fit is crucial. I often come across businesses where there is a serious lack of belief in the value of research. As the very nature of our markets is changing those who understand and adapt to these changes will be ahead of the curve. Many still display a profound optimism that the answer lies in social media, online marketing, a good website, brochure, or creative advertising which will attract those all-important new customers who, if only they realised what we offer, would be beating a path to our door. Whilst research does not have to always involve a major investment, it should be seen as the foundation of our business.

Fit to survive
Do our marketing communications fit our target market? Whilst those businesses that continue to adopt marketing may be tempted to see it for its power of communication and influence, and less of a process of understanding our business, customers, competitors and markets, this can be likened unto the desire to ‘Advance to Go’ and simply bypassing all else along the way. After all, many of us know our businesses so well and some may have been established for years so what do we need to learn?

Markets and customer needs don’t change that much, do they? Sadly, in many cases even in the natural world around us, we perhaps start to understand a little more the impact that globalisation and climate change is having which may lead to the extinction of some species of animals and indeed become a threat to ourselves unless we change the way we live. In the business world, the environment is changing and those who learn to adapt through the effective use of marketing will ensure the survival of the fittest.

For more help on business coaching, business strategy, marketing expertise or coaching and development, or for a free introductory business assessment by Zoom contact me by email: leoaspden@reach-mc.co.uk