I teach marketing principles for The University of Hartford’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. One particular class I was teaching today is part of a series that takes budding entrepreneurs through a business feasibility planning blitz over the course of three months. The course reviews the basic concepts in all aspects of business planning: marketing, product development, distribution, pricing, legal set-up, etc.
I am always stunned at how businesses get launched on the back of a napkin or start with just a â€œwing and a prayer. This course tries to impart to its participants how critical planning is and how early evaluation of competitive environments and deep consumer exploration can make drastic differences in how a start-up moves forward. But as I talk with these entrepreneurs, it occurs to me that the same review needs to take place in large, well-established companies.
I talked earlier this week about understanding the changing consumer dynamics given the economic situation we all find ourselves in. So here are some questions for you to ponder in your world:
- What competitive advantages are emerging in this new marketplace?
- Should you be offering more targeted discounts or prmotinal offers?
- How does your product line need to change?
- What advantages would you find by targeting the super wealthy?
- If your current marketing plan was slashed by 80%, what innovative, out-of-the box activities would you activate to continue to get your message out there?
If this line of questioning sparks some inspiration, let me know. I’m interested to hear what you are thinking about!