Four Ps

Anyone with a Business or Marketing degree has likely heard of the following framework from the illustrious marketing professor Philip Kotler.

Marketing is the combination of the 4Ps: Price, Product, Promotion, and Place.

While many can agree with it, when we think of Marketing in most companies and business circles, we tend to focus on a subset of one P: Promotion.

If you reacted to the previous sentence by thinking, “Yeah, that’s kind of true,” you may be interested in taking a few minutes to think if your Marketing team is doing everything it’s supposed to do in your company.

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Controversial Marketing Hot-Take #4

In October of last year, I thought of starting a series of posts on controversial marketing hot-takes. I posted one a day for four days straight. This was the fourth and last one. To make it even more entertaining, I've decided to use sports quotes to illustrate my point. "๐˜—๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ณ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ ๐˜ค…

Controversial Marketing Hot-Take #1

In October last year, I thought of starting a series of posts on ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜€. I posted one a day for four days straight. This was the first one. "๐™„๐™› ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™˜๐™–๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ž๐™œ๐™ฃ ๐™—๐™ค๐™ข๐™—๐™จ, ๐™ž๐™…

Adjust And Double-down:
A Marketing Investment Roadmap For Uncertain Times

โ€œWe are navigating uncertain times.โ€ How often have you heard some variation of this phrase in the last three years? Itโ€™s been used to explain everything from layoffs to schedule changes to service disruptions, and โ€” while it may be true โ€” itโ€™s getting exhausting. I think itโ€™s fair to say that weโ€™re all looking for more โ€œcertain times.โ€

Perhaps more certainty and predictability lie in the future, but they remain to be seen. Right now, everyone (especially those in marketing) needs to focus on navigating uncertainty.

Adjust Investment Strategies for Uncertain Times 

In the past year, we have seen the tide shift from a general policy of โ€œgrow at all costsโ€ to โ€œshow profitability.โ€ This means that companies’ investment strategy needs to focus on protecting the bottom line, and if the correction is not done gradually over time, the marketing budget is the most exposed to cuts and pullbacks.

This is usually because of two reasons:

  • A structural adjustment like laying off part of your staff comes with expensive severance packages and therefore requires time to show an impact on the bottom line.
  • Because companies that need to prioritize revenue and profits in the short term are often willing to forgo a medium to long-term impact for immediate relief, favoring sales costs that can bring immediate revenue vs. marketing expenditures that bring both short, medium, and long-term benefits. 

This is the reason why companies that are seeing a softening demand (i.e., topline decline) or are anticipating a market contraction, tend to cut media and marketing budgets before reducing sales costs. 

The problem is that if this pullback is done too abruptly, inbound demand will soften to the point where your sales efforts become less effective and will therefore worsen the company’s need to cut costs to maintain margins. Moreover, if your disinvestment strategy is more drastic than your competitors, the market share loss will make a later recovery 2-3x more expensive than the initial savings. 

At this point, people may be tempted to suggest that to prevent this tricky situation, companies should have been more conservative in bolstering costs during a growth period. Still, we need to remember that limiting spend in a moment of growth also presents the opportunity cost of losing โ€œfairโ€ market share with respect to the market and competition.

Since we canโ€™t go back in time, letโ€™s discuss how companies can navigate a worsening financial outlook and how marketing and finance departments can partner together to adjust their investment strategy to manage the current environment. 

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How to Plan a Marketing Campaign: from Strategy to Tactics โ€“ Part 2

Once you have a clear sense of your business objective and your target audience (topics we discussed in Part 1 of this series), itโ€™s time to take those actionable steps you identified and put them to work for ongoing results. Making a strong plan for your marketing strategy allows you to build on your knowledge, providing ongoing results with sma…