Marketing affects a large number of activities within most organisations. However, three topics should be addressed to enhance the long–term sustainability and profitability following the Covid pandemic. These are:
- Understanding where the best opportunities are
- Appreciating what problems target customers have
- Developing new ways of creating sustainable relationships with customers
Understanding where the best opportunities are.
The products and services sold to the markets that you currently serve might not be appropriate to deliver the type of objectives and vision that you have for your business. Crudely: what got you here might not be able to get you there.
As a starting point, it is critical for you and your team to be clear about where you are looking to take the business: what is the vision or how do you define “there” as a destination? So many companies lack the clarity to be able to explain their long-term vision. If this is the case, then how can one expect everyone in the business to be working together consistently if they do not know what the goals are?
Post Covid, this leads to thinking about what is it that we are now trying to achieve? Are we looking to get back to what we had before the pandemic? Many businesses might answer “yes” and yet consider the following. We have all needed to adapt and change the way that we operate, both in our business and personal lives. So why do we think that we and, more importantly our customers, will want to go back to the way that they engaged with the business pre-Covid? What is the evidence that says that pre-Covid was “better” than post-Covid?
So, if we think about what business life might look like post-Covid, what is it that we are looking to achieve? Maybe we need to consider a version of the business that we would have liked to have built but, for various reasons, have yet to create? This might be a great opportunity to review the markets that we currently serve and consider whether, really, we have a sufficiently competitive position that will or can lead to superior profitability or are we just competing within the crowd along with everyone else. One piece of evidence might be the price levels that you are able to charge. If you can charge a price premium over others, then the markets in which you are operating might be able to deliver a sustainable future.
Therefore, if you are not able to charge a premium consider whether there are other markets where such a price premium could be available. The challenge is this: to review the markets in which you currently operate and consider why you are operating in them; further, is there a sustainable future by staying within those markets? The flip side to that is to try and identify more attractive market opportunities where you have, or could gain, a good competitive product/service offer and that might be growing at a faster rate than the markets that you currently serve.
The point is a classic marketing challenge: are we getting a sufficient return on the resources that we have available from our existing markets or are there “better” opportunities elsewhere, defined either in terms of product/service and/or geography?
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