A ‘hope strategy’ isn’t enough

Whatever your political persuasion, there is now growing evidence that the business community is reacting to the result of the Brexit referendum.
•    The National Institute of Economic and Social research (NIESR) says the country has a 50/50 chance of a recession with growth likely to be around 1.7% overall for 2016. Business managers are letting the political and financial uncertainty affect their immediate spending and investment decisions.
•    The Bank of England has today announced that UK interest rates will be reduced to just 0.25%.
•    The CBI’s latest quarterly survey of SME’s shows that pessimism rather than optimism is the order of the day, although some firms report orders as being stable.  New plant and machinery orders and hiring decisions seem to have been put on ice for the moment. In the same report the lower pound seems to have the opposite effect on manufacturers who are exporting and able to take advantage of the weaker pound.
•    Earlier this week the Markit/CIPS manufacturing purchasing managers’ index also suggested activity is slowing down.
Whilst uncertain times are not always good news, for some companies the current economic outlook represents an opportunity. Here at Aardvark we know that many SME’s approach their sales and marketing activity without a plan and a well-thought out strategy in place. Marketing can be a seemingly ad-hoc activity done when the manager responsible finds some free time in the diary. An email newsletter here, an occasional revision of a few website pages, perhaps they will try a new business expo for the first time or test out Google ads to give them a short-term boost in enquiry numbers. This can often result in frustration when the business receives leads and enquiries in the same haphazard pattern, with very little predictability in results and the quality of these enquiries can sometimes be poor. We call it the ‘feast and famine’ pattern.
If your sales and marketing activity isn’t delivering the business growth you desire, particularly when your customers are questioning every purchasing decision, perhaps it’s time for a different approach. Ditch the ‘I hope it works’ strategy. Try a planned and systematic strategy instead. One that thinks about which customers to target, the frequency of your approach and the messages they receive.
Is your current engagement with your target audiences building enough trust to counter the current economic uncertainties? If so, 2016 will be a great year. If not, you could try a confidential chat with us to see if a new approach is worth considering. Why not ask us about an EU funded business support grant whilst one is still available?