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Marketing & Business Development

In an economic downturn one of the first areas in a business that is cut back is marketing. Budgets are slashed and the marketing headcount reduced as businesses get ready to ride out the storm. This is understandable given that most businesses see a decrease in demand and a need to reduce costs to help boost the bottom line.

Marketing in a Downturn

In these challenging time businesses must find new ways to make marketing work more effectively and get more out of marketing investments. However over the years research has shown (Click Here for Research reports) that increasing marketing activity during a downturn puts a business in a stronger position for when the economy starts picking up. Proctor & Gamble CEO AG Lafley puts it as follows "We have a philosophy and a strategy. When times are tough, you build share".

The key to marketing in a downturn is to THINK SMART and develop strategies that understand the changing marketplace as consumers become value orientated, distributors concerned with cashflow and employees worry about their jobs.

What Can I Do?

The following are some simple strategies for marketing in a downturn:
  • Market Smarter – create a strong business case for the investment. Internet Marketing is built around delivering visibility, impressions, clicks, leads and customers and is easy to measure and thus provide a ROI scenario.
  • Know Your Customer – understand and provide for your customers changing needs. Pay more emphasis on pricing, value, trust and service in your offering.
  • Outthink and Outflank Your Competition – as competitor activity decreases react quickly to the changing environment and win market share
  • Focus on Quality over Quantity – develop marketing programmes where the quality of the lead is of paramount importance and allocate adequate resources
  • Form Partnerships – with media and other related businesses
How Can We Help?
Acumen Consulting can help clients in this challenging environment develop and achieve their marketing and business objectives from growing revenue and increasing profitability to improving internal and external communications. We can take care of all your marketing needs, or we can help in areas that need the most assistance.

Specifically we can provide expertise in any or all of the following areas: Alternatively we can act as your company’s marketing department and manage the development and delivery of all the marketing activity through our outsourced management

Marketing Strategy
Developing a marketing strategy for your business is vital as it helps focus marketing activity to ensure that your offering meets customer needs.
It should identify and communicate the benefits of your proposition to the target market and importantly, should remain flexible to respond to business and market changes.

The strategy should identify and focus on your strengths and match them with customer expectations. A key element is the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis.
Monitoring and evaluation is also essential as it will enable you to assess the performance and help shape your future marketing strategy.

The next step is to draw up a detailed marketing plan that sets out specific actions that puts the strategy into practice.

Marketing Plan
The Marketing Plan is best seen as an internal reference document that is used by your business to execute the marketing strategy. It will set out clear objectives and the mechanics required to implement them.
It will have a time line and if possible should include budgets/estimated costs.

Every business should have a marketing plan and Acumen Consulting can help you to not only develop a plan for your business but can also carry out the execution and evaluation if required. Corporate Identity & Branding
No matter how small the business developing a corporate identity or brand, influences customer opinion and reflects on your business. It conveys your image to your target market and is more than just having a logo.

We outsource all the design work to ensure that you get value for money. Advertising

Advertising can have a major role to play in the marketing communication plan of your business and can broadly be split into Above-The-Line (ATL) which includes the following media – TV, Radio, Print, Cinema & Outdoor and, Below-The-Line (BTL) which includes – direct marketing, promotions, email marketing, events & PR.

It can be a potentially large investment and thus great care is required when planning the advertising mix.

Though not an advertising agency, we have considerable experience in agencies and also in creating and delivering the advertising campaigns. By working with Acumen you can reduce your costs considerably.

Public Relations can be a useful weapon in your marketing armoury. It is a way of creating awareness of your product or service without advertising, and if there is a problem with the product, your service or the company, it can help deal with it effectively.

It can be used to inform customers, suppliers, banks and potential partners a specific message you wish to convey, such as the launch of a new product or service.

PR is a highly specialised service and an experienced PR person will have excellent contacts with the target media. We identify and work closely with specialist PR people to ensure that the objectives are met and importantly to ensure that the advertising activity is coordinated to ensure maximum impact. Brochures and Print
The advent of websites has reduced considerably the need for brochures and other ancillary printed material. Nonetheless printed material is still often required to fulfil specific functions.

We assess the printing needs and if required outsource the larger printing requirements overseas in order to facilitate cost effectiveness. However for smaller businesses where printing requirements are for smaller quantities or where time is of the essence we work with printers who can deliver on quality, cost and time. Outsourced Management
Many companies understand the need to develop the ‘marketing’ of their business yet are unclear whether a ROI can be delivered by a dedicated in-house marketing team.
In addition, the current economic climate may lead business owners and senior management to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of their in-house team.

Acumen Consulting can provide a solution to this problem by acting as your company’s ‘outsourced marketing department’ providing effective development, management & delivery of all your marketing and communication needs BUT at a lower cost.

Marketing & Business Development

Marketing Strategy
Marketing Plan
Corporate Identity and Branding
Brochures and Print
Outsourced Management
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