Catherine (Kitty) Taylor, vice president of innovation at RedRover Sales & Marketing Strategy, can be reached at www.redrovercompany.com.
By Catherine (Kitty) Taylor
In due time, every organization faces a potential stall-out in their proactive marketing efforts, whether due to uncertainty about the future or change. Often, the first inclination is to stop outward communication until the leadership team becomes more confident in the future.
Good news: Ceasing or slowing marketing and sales efforts doesnít have to be the only answer. There are ways to continue to nurture public personas even when, internally, uncertainty is amidst.
Here are four common causes of change and uncertainty inside organizations, with alternatives to consider instead of a marketing or sales stall out.
Waiting for a Key New Hire. Itís exciting to recruit a new marketing or sales leader to your team, and itís understandable that you want this person to have a high degree of influence and decision-making power. A simple way to continue an existing routine of marketing content Ė and support the new personís knowledge-transfer needs Ė is to write a blog post or an e-newsletter showcasing your top-five most popular products or services from the last year or quarter. The new leader will be grateful to have this information handy, and your customers will find it informational, too.
Experiencing Leadership Team Discord. Itís normal for members of a leadership team to have different perspectives and tactical approaches. Of course, time to sort out those differences is typically time well spent. To feed that conversation, each leader could be tasked with secret shopping a competitor, whether online or in person, and bringing those insights back to the internal conversation. You never know when an a-ha moment will arise to make marketing and sales decisions even richer.
Facing Uncertainty with a Primary Supplier. With todayís interconnected supply chain, a single vendor can pose sudden difficulty for you. One way to mitigate the risk of a potential shortage in one product or service line is to channel customer attention to a more stable facet of your company. To entice short-term demand, consider running an online ad campaign, promoting a flash sale, or even hosting an intimate in-person concierge-style event for customers to receive personal attention.
Feeling Too Busy for Anything Else. Itís a challenge that every organization and employee lives with. ďBusyĒ has become a top American pastime. Small steps in data gathering make sense here, which will provide insight into whether a larger opportunity is really worth tackling. An example of one small step is a short survey to your customers about their opinion of your product or service mix. Do they have needs and wants you donít know about, or are they satisfied in full?
While these alternatives might not work in every context every time, they do provide ammunition against the gut instinct to slow down in times of uncertainty.