Here in Northeast Florida we are hunkering down for another hurricane. We've had some close calls over the years, but Hurricane Matthew is looking especially nasty and looks to be bearing down on us over the next couple of days. That means we break out the survival guides to make sure we have what we need...as well as make plans for a hurricane party since no one goes anywhere.
It made me think of preparing for when your business may get blown off course. An effective marketing strategy deals with the here and now as well as what's down the road, but there can be events that force you to read and react. It's important to do so nimbly in order to keep adding value regardless of the forecast.
One set of conditions are macro-level events. By and large these are factors beyond your control but still have an impact on your business. Economic changes tend to be the most widespread, but regulatory issues or mergers & acquisitions in your industry can also change its landscape. Technology changes can have that same impact - just ask Blackberry. Whether it's a recessions or a reset, it's important to be prepared and manage the marketing elements you can control under the new set of conditions.
The micro-level events can often be worse since they hit closer to home and unfortunately may have been within your control. PR missteps, negative industry ratings, missed earnings reports, or losing a big client can all fire a shot across the bow of your enterprise and your competitors will jump on any sign of weakness. Since you can't fix all the problems or deal with all the issues, steering into them will help you navigate through the storm and hopefully not capsize the boat. Marketing plays an integral role in this and stepping up in these situations can really how the leadership great marketing can provide.
It may not be necessary to develop a 100 page disaster recovery plan like they do in IT, but it may not hurt to have a few thoughts and ideas written down with an "In Case Of Marketing Emergency Read This" header. We all know what failing to plan feels like and even a running start gets you ahead of the pack.
Here's hoping everyone stays safe!