Well it's 2022, how will it be now?
Although we have already entered this new year, the questions have not disappeared.
This year we are feeling more confused than in the times when astrologers invaded televisions and newspapers/magazines with their new year perspectives.
There are many topics and subjects that make us look forward to the future and what awaits us.
From the pandemic, to the economy, to business development, and even to politics and its stability (a topic that we won't explore for obvious reasons), everything seems to be fluctuating.
After years in which things were stable (there was even "money left" from the state budget, something never seen before), we are back to volatile times.
We had a 2021 that, at least in some ways, left something to be desired.
And it even paved the way for a year with this panorama of doubt.
Will we see the pandemic turn into an endemic disease and finally have some "normality" again? Or does it all go back?
How will our economy and that of our European partners evolve, and will we turn a PRR into an opportunity? Or will there be more waste?
Another transitional phase for us to continue towards the end of Europe's tail?
Will interest rates escalate, with the rise in living costs, and throw everything into yet another crisis of complex contours?
Is the workforce running short? Although no one has yet explained where it all went after the last confinement, it has had an impact on several sectors.
On other planes, there are also issues, albeit less harmful.
Technology will take another leap, after the giant one in 2020, and with all the conversations about the Metaverse (which, after all, has been around for a few years), we will have a disruption in the way we live, live and do things ?
And what does all this represent for companies and for issues related to Marketing and Communication?
Will consumers (deeply all of us) have changes in our way of looking at everything we are faced with?
Not to mention the generational differences, which with the way we were forced to live together, present some distances and approximations, but which are reflected in the way we act, consume and live together.
Let's go by parts, and as we are in a MarCom area (marketing and communication), we will restrict ourselves in what these issues can affect this area more directly.
Stop communicating with our potential customers does not seem like an option.
Anyone who has left, as far as is known, has never had better results because of it.
It certainly reduced your investment expenses, but it certainly didn't increase your income. Not as a result of this divestment.
Especially because companies and brands communicate continuously, through different means. The question is whether to maintain this professional communication or start placing bets on remedy solutions.
If customers stop hearing about one brand, they start listening to another. And in an economy with increasing digital communication, those who disinvest disappear.
Potential instability will create situations where both consumers and organizations will start looking for alternatives.
In particular, if a spiral begins with regard to costs and inflation, which represents a reduction in purchasing power, what is the best attitude to take?
The first attitude is to start, from now on, to develop strategic plans related to macro scenarios.
It is certain that it is something that, in our country, is not in our culture or practice.
Also many readily exclaim that we are a country of small businesses, and that most of them have no resources. Which, despite being true, is not without solutions.
There will also be those who will resort to the argument of decapitalization resulting from two years of pandemic. Which is also a fact and a challenge.
But if there is the possibility of resorting to lines of financing and support, namely for the hiring of consultants and the dynamism of organizations, when does the aversion to the use of these resources cease?
Larger companies do not fail to resort to this support. The time has come for the little ones to do the same and start a serious and real modernization process.
Marketing planning is an asset. Especially if it doesn't end up in a drawer to collect dust.
Especially because it allows the analysis and perspective of scenarios and possible measures to be taken.
In addition to the more economistic perspective, this type of planning, if developed by competent teams, will provide the possibility of defining objectives, goals and ways of achieving them.
For those who take this approach seriously, it will still provide the possibility to unite efforts internally, which is an attitude that can be worth more than 10 poorly designed campaigns or with big budgets.
Always remember that you have to think about something bigger than "our street".
Big companies didn't grow just because they "got lucky" or because they "borrowed money" (even if you hear about such cases).
From a communication perspective, if that were the case, a large beverage company (yes, that one...) would not advertise or spend money on television.
Nor did he invest millions in marketing departments or agencies.
Therefore, in order to prepare, it is necessary to plan and project the best, or worst, that can happen. All scenarios are valid.
In this year 2022, some things we can plan scenarios for will be:
The pandemic will not disappear (in the best scenario it is endemic; in the worst we have a new variant), how can this affect the business?;
Interest goes up and affects costs in terms of facilities and raw materials (assess whether there is an interest, or possibility, to change location. But in the selection process, also think about those who work with you). How can I arrange supply alternatives?;
Do existing human resources respond to business needs? If I lose some of them, what can happen? (there are no irreplaceables, but some seem to. Retaining a valuable element is cheaper than finding and training someone new);
My customers have a drop in their purchasing power. Can I adjust my prices? Which markets can you enter to compensate for possible losses (leave it for later... it will be too late);
How is it possible to build a relationship with my clients and everyone who is part of the organization's life (someone gave it a name, the "stakeholders")?
If there is a policy change, how can this affect the organization (preparation for this is not easy, but pretending that it cannot happen can be even worse);
What impacts might come from other countries that affect me? (a simple example is, for those who work in tourism, the inability of their regular customers to travel. A problem that requires a solution...);
How can I improve and optimize the company's operations? (It can save money, and probably give everyone more time to look for alternatives and solutions within the organization. Or even give free time - someone motivated works twice as hard. Try it!);
Can I better communicate my brand, product or company? Of course, you can always implement improvements. And without fear of what you don't know. And thinking "others will do the same" (or already do), is not worth it. Because they won't! Not all.
Embrace the digital. And it's not just for posting on social media. But if you do, do it in a structured way and in order to be able to maintain a relationship with your current or potential customers (and this will require time and effort. But no work...). The point is that this adoption of digital is closely linked with the issue of optimizing the organization's operations and solutions (mentioned above).
At this point you're thinking "but what does all this have to do with marketing and communication?". And the answer is "Everything!"
Not wanting to go into other fields in this article, marketing is a much broader discipline than it is usually associated with.
Marketing is not "advertising" or "making some publications and advertisements on digital".
All the topics that were being questioned fall into the sphere of marketing. And as a marketing tool, in communication (which is also not just advertising).
And in uncertain times, the best bet is what you might call "counter-cycle investing." Get ahead of the competition and anticipate market movements.
And now 2022? We will try to improve competitiveness and overcome all these perspectives.
Because if everything goes for the best, what can happen is to "ride the wave" in an even better way than would be expected.
It will be to generate success and improve possibilities and horizons in this twelve-month future (now a little less).