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time July 23 2019
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Marketing in Tough Economic Times

There are two kinds of marketing people in Pakistan. The fake marketers who will blame the outside world; political and economic environment for the brand and business slowdown; and the real marketers who love any brand and business challenge and will create marketing plans and ideas to make their brand swim past any storm.

Marketing is about action. Great marketers create magic through intelligent, insightful and imaginative interventions that they do with their product, packaging, pricing, promotion and point of sale solutions.

Marketing is about selling, no matter what. And great marketers do so 9 out of 10 times as they believe in themselves.

There is no denying the fact that we are in the middle of a troubled time. But such times require greater marketing thinking and it is a test of your true marketing talent.

Marketing is not about more money as you surely won’t have more budgets in such a time, it’s about using your brains, heart and gut and making the consumer buy. You can’t just sit still and wait for the storm to pass by, you clearly need to take some meaningful actions.

So what can be done in this troubled economic situation?

Consumers clearly are under pressure to make their ends meet and hence they are relooking their product choices accordingly. Down grading and down sixing is common in tough economic times. Value proposition of the brands is under deep scrutiny. You can’t build a “brand” in such a time to enhance your value. If you did not do a good job at it in good times you have lost this opportunity now. You need to think otherwise. This is the time for creating value in your price equation. People are looking for price value in such times. Think of offers and deals that you can offer to keep your consumer as they look to move away to cheaper options.

Alternatively, do you have a lower price point product in your portfolio? This is the time to spend behind that product as that would be more attractive to people. These value brands can really build volumes and business in such times. But no matter what option you pick, you need to communicate price and price value at consumers who are seeking such information right now.

This is the time for loyalty based consumer promotions. Reward your consumers at this time. Give them a reason to stick with you for any promotional offer that you create. Fulfil any other material need of the consumer through your product or brand. Think around your brand and its equity and the consumer, and you will come with a solution that’s unique to your brand.


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    Shoaib is a strategy person and is a well-respected industry thought leader and speaks and writes regularly at all the leading forums in Pakistan.

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