When you’re working out what marketing you’re going to do when, keep in mind future scenarios, and play a ‘what if’ game.
Ask other business and non-business people to come up with some ‘what if’ situations and ‘yes, but’ objections. Write them all down, no matter how daft sounding and decide on a plan. Obviously these plans needn’t be set in stone, but they do help you to be aware of the possibilities. Here’s an example:
- At the moment, I am the only cobbler in the town. What if a competitor moves into the area?
- How might I make sure I know before it happens?
- How will I make sure I keep my existing clients?
- How will I step up my marketing? (And why aren’t I doing that now?)
- Will this affect my staffing levels?
In addition, ask yourself, “What ‘yes, buts’ can I think of and how can I answer them from a marketing point of view?” (For example, “Yes, but I’m the best there is in the industry” could be answered with, “So how will I let people know that, and who is it I want to know?”)
Here are a few more scenarios that could affect you:
- What if a competitor fails?
- What if there’s a technological breakthrough? Would you use it?
- What if there’s a technological breakthrough and your competitors start using it before you?
- What if you half your advertising spending?
- What if you double your advertising spending?
- What if new laws come in that affect your business?
- What if some laws are relaxed/deregulated in your industry?
- What if you want to buy out a competitor?
- What if you want to take on extra staff?
- What if you want to move much of your business online?
- What if several of your staff leave/go on holiday/go off sick at the same time?
- What if you broke your leg or developed a long-term illness?
- What if you wanted to sell your business?
Once you have answers to these questions, think about how you would let people know if there were a change. A few very easy ways are to change your web pages, send out offline and online press releases, and alert people through your mailing list and/or email lists and/or Twitter (and other social media).
Other ways will be through blogs, articles, You Tube and SlideShare. The main thing is to keep clients, customers and prospects informed, and to keep them on your side. And any changes are always a good opportunity for some marketing.