2 Rules for Marketing in a Downturn, Job Survival Tactics and Quiz

Amul atta? Buttermilk from Coca Cola? Ready-to-drink RoohAfza? There’s been a spate of product launches recently each more adventurous than the next. And I’m not even talking about the clutch of companies now producing hand sanitizer. Or the raft of “immunity enablers” like turmeric milk from food companies.

In a market which is shrinking there are only two successful responses.

Rule 1: Grab marketshare from competitors. You have to get a bigger piece of the shrinking pie to stay at the same level as you were earlier.
Rule 2: Expand your market to adjacent spaces. This can leverage the extra bandwidth that you have available and scoop up revenue to make up the shortfall.

In both cases you have to find or develop offerings that are COVID-relevant, recession-relevant, or both. I had written about what to sell in the COVID downturn back in April and that playbook is visible in the marketplace now.

For a deeper read I’d recommend this long read by UK academics on how Pandemics fuel the rise of mega corporations.

Everything else is tactics to retain customers. For example, Zoom is offering discounts to get you to sign up for 12 months.  Ditto Canva. They are just applying the PSPD model to reduce uncertainty even though they are in well-performing categories. Many of the mailers I get are trying to scare me into buying – and it’s a technique that works. In this article Mukund Setlur explains the 5 Primal Fears that are used in marketing.

What about you, as an individual? I have always been happy to emcee events, translate ads, ghost-write speeches, be a company model, and plan menus for client dinners. None of these were in my JD as head of marketing, but they certainly broadened my reach and helped me expand my role beyond whatever I was hired for. As firms look to cut costs people who can do multiple things and/or have hard skills are more in demand. Can you create rather than just delegate? Can you expand into adjacencies? Can you execute not just advise? It’s a good time to reconsider your positioning – are you a marketer or responsible for delivering revenue to the organization? Are you a manager or responsible for reducing friction for your boss? How you define yourself can help you gain greater mindshare and salience within your organization.

Of course not all launches make sense to me. I do not know what to do with Twitter Voice Tweets, for example. Like Whatsapp audio messages but for public Tweets. I’m already cringing at the thought of this onslaught but I’m sure there’s a method to it. Meanwhile, TikTok seems to be on a PR overdrive positioning itself as YouTube for Young People. Thankfully, not yet relevant for B2B, but that’s only a matter of time.

LinkedIn has made the newsletter feature available to me and this newsletter is now available there too! Woohoo! If we’re not yet connected on LinkedIn do send me an invitation saying you read my email and I’d be delighted to connect. I’m enjoying the Watch Party feature on Facebook. Join me tomorrow at 11.30 am IST for the Future Generali Life India webinar with Rajeev Karwal, Chairman and Founder of Milagrow – they are India’s leader in service robots.

Continuing with my efforts to provide you with some fun, I’m delighted to introduce Chitra Narayanan as our Guest Quizmaster for the week. She’s a journalist I’ve known for most of my career and is also the author of a book, “From Oberoi to Oyo”. Her quiz is on a topic that will definitely bring lots of happy memories of business trips (I miss them!) and holidays to all of you – brands & hotels. I have persuaded her to make it relatively easy 🙂 Try it and let me know how it goes!

CMO India Paul Writer

Matrimony.Com’s Technology Delivers Exceptional Customer Experience
“In today’s world where customer experience drives success or failure, our strategy is to drive profile registrations and expand our user base by enhancing our user experience and engagement to offer compatible matches, drive retention and fuel business.” said Rajasekar KS, GM – Marketing at Matrimony.com

Read on for Rajasekar’s insights on how customer experience directly impacts business outcomes

Persuade Customers to Buy

Getting irrational customers to buy. You cannot fight with logic but with emotion

Take a deep breath and repeat after me.

Human beings are deeply irrational beings.

How do we persuade customers to buy, then?

Beat the Heat This Summer With VIO Spiced Buttermilk, a Refreshing New Product From Coca-Cola India

Check In, Check Out QuizJob Board
1. Senior Performance Marketing Head, Cleartax, Bangalore
2. Performance Marketer, Shobha Developers, Bangalore

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