The other day I was reading a message from a business leader to employees. In typical fashion – because the markets are difficult right now – the leader thanked everyone for their hard work and what to expect going forward.
A portion of one statement stood out. “…to make the case to retire a custom solution, or to reduce a service level…”
Retire a CUSTOM solution? Reduce a SERVICE level?
Let’s take a step back and review.
- The markets are challenging
- No one is sure when the economy will rebound
- The price of oil is unstable and we may never see the price at $100/barrel again.
All of the above – and many other factors – are affecting companies regardless of their size or industry. It’s understandable that companies are trying to do more with less, and touting simplicity and efficiency. (I’ve been a part of downsizing. I know what it’s like.)
With that said, it’s very surprising that a business – any business – would choose to retire a custom solution or reduce a service level.
Because those are your differentiators. They are some of the ways you stand out from your competitors.
Stick With Your Marketing Communications Strategy
Marketing communications is there for your business to share these and other differentiators with your target audience. Think about what will happen if you reduce or take away customer service or a custom solution. You will open your business and brand to negative conversations and publicity.
Once that happens – and it will – the public relations nightmare begins.
By this I mean you will start to see negative publicity and reduced profits.
Because your customers will want that customized solution but can’t have it. They will have grown accustomed to great customer service, and won’t want to accept anything less. They will get annoyed. They will share this annoyance publicly. They may decide to stop buying from you.
You will want – and need – to act. To do that, you will not only have to go back to your marketing communications strategy, but you will also have to spend more time and money expanding it so that you can join the conversation to ensure people hear your messages.
Question For You
My question to you is this: Do you want to spend more time and money to recoup your reputation and customers over a long period of time? Or, do you want to stick with your marketing communications strategy – staying proactive – to ensure your brand’s reputation and customer base is maintained? Perhaps even growing it?
Two quotes come to mind:
- If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur. – Red Adair
- If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. – Chinese proverb
While the above quotes are more about hiring the right people, they also apply to sticking with your marketing communications strategy.
As stated above, if you get rid of the reasons your audience or customers love your company, then you will find yourself spending 10 times more time, energy, and money trying to win them back. That affects your bottom line (negatively) far more than sticking to your marketing plan.
Per Warren Buffet: It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.
What say you? Are you going to stick to your marketing communications strategy?