Peter Drucker is one of my favorite business thought leaders. He could not possibly have envisioned the experience we all lived through this year – and continue to experience – but his visionary advice includes a particularly relevant admonition: “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” Most years I talk to my clients about the applicability of this statement to their year-end reviews. This year it takes on an entirely different meaning and importance.
If you have not started to strategically examine and realign your marketing, you will want to start doing that now. This is not the year to skip an end-of-year review of your marketing (or your business in general). Every market has experienced some change this year. COVID-19 has brought about some changes that are temporary, but also generated new thinking as well as both temporary and permanent shifts in most demographics.
As a result, many business leaders are looking more closely at all areas of their business than in a more typical year. The end-of-year business review is an ideal time to look at the impact the COVID-related changes may have had – or may yet have – on your business and realign your marketing strategy. This year more than most, it would be wise to consider what changes or adjustments you may need to make to your product line, pricing, and overall marketing strategy. Here are some questions to help get you started:
If you don’t think your market has changed at all, you may be overlooking something. Most markets and segments have undergone significant transformations this year. Ask yourself:
- How has your market changed?
- Did your target audience grow or contract? What other changes happened to your market?
- What new challenges or opportunities have been created?
- How has demand for your products or services changed? Did it increase, decrease, or stay the same?
- How has competition changed? Is there more or less competition?
- Is your business model still applicable? Will it still be profitable?
Some changes in the market will bring about a need for different or modified products and services too. Consider the following:
- Does your target audience want or need new or different products or services?
- What new needs have emerged? Can you fill any of those needs?
- Are your products and services still relevant? Do you need to pivot your product line or totally overhaul it to fit the new needs?
- Are your offerings still affordable to the market?
- Are they more valuable today than they were at the beginning of the year?
- Did the events of this year have any negative effect on your Brand?
Lastly, the value proposition may have changed, and your pricing model may need to change as well.
- Have your costs gone up?
- Have you been able to maintain margin?
- Is a pricing change warranted?
- How will a pricing change be received by your audience?
- Can you adjust your price profitably, or do you have to realign your product offerings?
- Has your value proposition changed?
- Do you need to develop a different pricing model?
Start by looking back over the year, and then, using today as a reference point, make projections and decisions about your products, audience, pricing, and incorporate any necessary pivots. We have had almost a full year of data to see how the “new reality” will change our markets (both temporarily and permanently), and hopefully you have been collecting data that will help you to move forward profitably. If you need assistance with your planning for next year, we would be honored to help. Schedule a complimentary conversation with us to discuss how to shift your marketing to respond to the new reality. And if your needs are in financial or operations planning, send me an email. I can recommend some top advisors for those areas too.