As we approach the end of another very challenging year, many businesses will be engaged in planning for 2022. Marketers will be looking forward to 2022, setting new targets, building plans and setting up projects. Of course, this activity always involves some reviewing of current and recent performance, and what is going on in our marketplace.
After nearly two years of very different circumstances, I think it’s a really good time to look a bit more carefully at what has happened. Are we all really reverting back to pre-Covid “normality” or has the world changed?
If, like me you conclude that some of the changes to our behaviours and values that have emerged during the pandemic are not simply going to fade away, but have become part of the way we are now, then we need to consider what implications this has for marketing?
It has been said that the 1950s triggered the boom in consumer marketing when supply began to exceed demand for consumer goods. Faced with surplus goods and services, brand owners needed to convince consumers to buy more and to buy their brand. The practice of marketing and the investment in marketing activity grew exponentially over the following decades in a bid to convince consumers to buy named brands, or even adopt completely new products and services.
However, in the last 2 years, many of my clients have found significant challenges in other areas. Supply of materials has been a consistent issue for many businesses; whether due to Brexit complications, shipping costs, availability of HGV drivers, shortage of computer chips, supplier shutdowns due to power rationing, reduced working due to Covid or a myriad of other reasons.
Another growing trend has been the difficulty in recruiting new people and holding on to current staff. Recruiters are consistently reporting a shortage of candidates and suddenly there are regular references to “The Great Resignation”. A recent study by MetLife showed that over half of employees are considering leaving their job in the next 18 months
If these changes turn out to be more than a temporary change, then what does this mean for marketing?
If supply and demand are moving back towards an equilibrium, it sends prices upwards which may help profits, but what else changes? How much should we invest in driving demand that we may then struggle to fulfil? Could it be that we can be more choosy about our customers – who’s business do we really want? Or do we need to focus more of our marketing efforts on the supply side of business?
Call us on 01905 885 285 or email us if you’d like to re-assess what really matters with marketing.