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Enterprising Thoughts

  • Post Recession Marketing: It Just Ain’t Going to be the Same!

    Published on April 11, 2011.

    Many companies, perhaps most, made adjustments to survive the “Great Recession.” Some succeeded. But to prosper in the post recession era will require, not only adjustments, but also a re-thinking of entire marketing strategies, including how we communicate with our key audiences.

    Companies, of course, are emerging from the worst economic times any of us can remember companies at a varying pace, and what they will quickly discover is a new customer/client climate.

    According to a white paper entitled Marketing Out Of The Recession: Recovery Is Coming, But Things Will Never Be The Same Again,” published by a trio* of academics, companies will be faced with a “new normal.”

    Marketing research unanimously agrees there has been a fundamental paradigm shift among consumers. The post-recession consumer is:

    • Less loyal to brands
    • More skeptical
    • Highly value oriented
    • Distrustful of financial institutions
    • More demanding
    • Less frivolous

    The authors of the above named article propose “an action agenda for executives to address in preparing their businesses for the challenges of economic recovery.” This includes recognizing that there is indeed a need to change marketing communications strategies in what is termed as the “age of thrift,” which has significantly altered customer purchase behavior.

    Jack Welch has said that customers and suppliers will have different expectations. So, it is essential for companies to understand those expectations and take steps to accommodate them, which will be one of the first challenges of economic recovery.

    And what should you consider in determining your post-recession marketing strategies?

    You won’t find the answer here, but we can provide some areas of consideration:
    • How have your customers’ value requirements changed?
    • How will those changes affect buying patterns?
    • Has the level of trust your customers have in your company changed?
    • Will the continued “shift to thrift” affect your company?
    • How are your competitors changing their approach to customers?
    • If you have been cutting costs to retain customers have you reduced the value of your brand?
    • What is the most important message your customers want to hear from you?

    * – David W Cravens, Neeley School of Business, Texas Christian University, U.S.
    Nigel F Piercy, Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick, United Kingdom
    Nikala Lane, Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick, United Kingdom