With less that 8 weeks left in 2012, it is time to reflect back on your year in business and think about new strategies that reflect changing trends and economic conditions. The economy has been slowing coming around for the last several months, and although your sales and revenue may not reflect it at this point, it will continue to get better in the months ahead. The real question is, what have the trends been in market and consumer behavior, has the decision-making process been altered, have preferences for the delivery of critical marketing messages been changed, and have your competitors enjoyed greater sales at your’s and other’s expense.
Tighter economic conditions lead the consumer to be more picky about what they buy and who they buy it from. Service and value have come to the forefront again, and customer service speaks volumes about a company’s success. I predict that this will continue and grow stronger over the next couple of years. You better be prepared to ask what the customer wants.
A recent report from The Bank of Montreal indicates that the number one challenge for Canadian businesses in 2013 will be “finding and retaining talented employees” Steve Murphy, Senior vice President Commercial Banking said, ” an increasing number of Canadian companies have made strategic investments to upgrade technology and processes, open up new markets and invest in people.” What does your strategic direction dictate for the coming year?
Finally, I just want to touch briefly on the delivery of a marketing program. Consumers are growing weary of intrusive marketing messages and the constant bombardment of ads. Businesses need to step back and re-evaluate the marketing and communication strategy including how it is delivered. There is a change happening, consumers are looking to simplified ads and messages. No crowded pallets and wordy text boxes. Simple and to the point.
Success in the coming year depends on decisions you need to make today. Don’t spend 2013 trying to herd cats.