“It’s that wonderful time of the year,” time to finalize our 2010 business plans. Next year will continue to carry the hangover from the 2009 recession. Marketeers should seek to exploit market trends to plan and execute an optimized marketing plan. For 2010, I will offer a few considerations.
The 2010 Environment
This year Philip Kotler published: Chaotics – the business of managing and marketing in the age of turbulence. In this turbulent environment, the book rings true. Chaos is the new norm (rapid periods of recession and growth spurs), and it will be so for the foreseeable future.
In many ways, those of us who were born post 1930 have not seen a time like this in our professional careers. Marketeers are challenged not only to manage, but to lead through this environment as your competitors stumble. As we work through this, it will have to be based on our clients’ needs.
NOTE of caution: 2010 is not the year to “slash and burn” your market research plans.
Trends for 2010
ECONOMIC – Unless your product/service is immune to financial stress, chances are your market is soft. Worse, your customers will continue to suffer economic depression, driven by higher financial scrutiny and troubled borrowing, all of 2010. The rise of the CFO influence is here to stay, at least for the next 5 years.
As marketeers, we’ve never been more pressed to produce value. Customers are translating value as MORE benefits & LESS price – they want BOTH, simultaneously. Value propositions, must be built on solid financial analysis with a clear balance sheet benefit.
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT – No matter what happens in the upcoming decade, government will be bigger. This will lead to centralized control of financial decisions, followed by the popular sourcing and procurement practices of the US government.
Part of the challenge for marketeers is that government, in their pursuit for standardization and low cost provision, tends to commoditize products and services. Product development investments must be aligned to this new reality. Marketeers must also change their promotional mix to address these systems and requirements.
DO MORE WITH LESS – If you’re lucky, your budget for 2010 will be flat in comparison to 2009. Most of us will have budget and headcount decreases. Yet marketing will never be more essential for corporations seeking to d i f f e r e n t i a t e .
Marketeers should be laser focused on marketing objectives. Mediums, like the internet, PR and social media should see a rise in investment as we’ll be pushed to build material that is reproducible, at a low cost. Previously staples, like traditional advertising, tradeshows and direct mail will suffer, unless they’re extremely targeted. A balance of creativity and hard ROI will be the key to remain effective and differentiated.
2010 Considerations for marketeers
- Grow your target segments – don’t get greedy chasing all customers.
- Be a disciplined marketer. More than ever we need the strategic marketing tools to make and communicate solid business decisions.
- Stay flexible (cut what’s “not working” and innovate – rapidly).