Managing marketing in a crisis

Published on July 30, 2020   31 min

A selection of talks on Marketing & Sales

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Welcome to this very special session on Managing Marketing in a crisis. My name is Dr. Annmarie Hanlon, and I am at the Cranfield School of Management. We've been looking at what happens in a crisis to businesses and what action you can take.
Let's first of all look at the context. Normal life is not normal in a crisis. Everything changes. There can be chaos around in all many ways. Pandemics erode consumer and business confidence, buyer power tends to be reduced and that may mean if you are selling online or you're selling offline, suddenly you have no or you have significantly reduced sales. Customer segments also change dramatically during a crisis, and we'll look at those more shortly. Buyers also reclassify products and services, and that's whether your buyers are traditional consumers or whether it's in a business to business setting. Overall, the key thing is, we need to adapt.
There are two typical business responses in a crisis. The first response is survival. This leads to stagnation and it's normally due to overall panic. The main focus is on tactics, the challenges day-to-day, and there's no overall cohesion or plan or direction, and it can rapidly change. The survival response does not help staff, and it also does not help your customers. The second response is strategy and planning, and this actually leads to growth, and there is further evidence of this in the research. Strategy and planning leads to shared values where you have management teams, where you have directors who are demonstrating and leading from the front and explaining what's important and what matters to them right now. It also promotes confidence. It demonstrates trust, and it also understands and embraces the changed lifestyles rather than trying to stick to the traditional in the pre-crisis situation. Using time in a crisis to plan is using the time wisely, and there are a few organisations that do that.