4 Things Smart Executives Should Keep In Mind As They Prepare For This Economic Depression
Yeah I said it, depression. But don’t confuse my observations with my desires. I don’t want a depression any more than a weather forecaster wants a hurricane, but I have a duty to call what I see. I told you back in September we were headed into a recession, I just didn’t know it would be this big. Let me leave you with these thoughts as you prepare for the onset of this economic storm:
- Events have been canceled, and it will be years before our travel agendas are as full as before. In lieu of events use multimedia to tell stories. Sounds obvious? Well most people (companies) do it wrong, boring everyone to death. “Our firm has a 50 year track record of success shoveling pablum into the heads of unsuspecting audiences, blah blah blah…” Nobody cares! Do you ever see corporate PowerPoints or websites where companies are showing off photos of the exteriors of their buildings, like it’s a commercial real estate for-rent site? What is that, an enterprise inferiority complex? It’s really not complicated. Make your content focus on the prospect/client, not about you! About what they want or need! Good sales people and corporate leaders know this, but it tends to get forgotten in the bowels of the marketing machinery. Things are getting much more competitive now, so make sure everything you do is effective.
- Sophistication serves cost — This will be painful for many to hear. Your technological prowess and quantum computing flux capacitors may be super cool but you had better be delivering not just value but real cost reductions for clients and customers. Tangible savings in short term spend. People are going to be clinging to cash now like the last remaining beer at a barbecue, so you may need to back off the prestige pitch, at least for a while, and instead show how you can make client spend shrink. People will be buying less Dom Perignon and more Two Buck Chuck. Adjust your offerings accordingly. This will apply to most of you, but of course there are exceptions, such as products and services with economically inelastic demand. Even still, be conscious of your messaging.
- Investor relations are integral to your marketing and communications — Even if your enterprise is privately held, it is important to communicate to shareholders and stakeholders beyond your products or services, why your firm is best poised to thrive during challenging times. Doubt is overabundant, so don’t take it for granted that your stakeholders are aware of your story and your value. Sell your strengths. See number 1 above, but remember you have more stakeholders than just your customers and prospects.
- Become a small target — Don’t neglect security. If you think you are insecure, enlist help and close vulnerabilities. If you think you are secure, you may be in even more danger. Prove it! Engage with a penetration testing provider, and a security consulting firm. If you have internal security professionals, engage with external security auditing. If you lose your data, or worse your customer’s—or the public’s, nothing else matters. You may not be in business no matter the economic conditions. Do this now.
Remember, if I can help you or your firm in any way, let me know. It’s what I do.
Stay safe and prosper.