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Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M Chief Consulting Editor's Desk
Rajita Chaudhuri
K.K.Srivastava Guest Column
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Have Europe and US Markets Recovered From Recession ?
While The Answer is in The Assertive, The Key Challenge for Companies Planning International Marketing & Operations lie in being ready for The Next Recession
Issue Date - 30/06/2011
Overcoming Resistance to Change: Executives have to find a way out of the trap of active inertia in their thinking – post-recession markets may be tough, but it is where many new opportunities are found for aggressive competitors.

Reinventing Marketing Strategy for a New Market Environment: Insightful and active management leadership is critical in coping with complexity and rapid change. Marketing executives must understand how purchasing and consumption patterns have evolved and align their companies’ strategies with new realities.

Prioritising Market Sensing: There has never been a time when it was more important to know how customers are redefining value and changing their buying preferences and behaviours. Superior market sensing capabilities guide more insightful strategic thinking in rapidly changing markets.

Innovating Radically in Product Strategy: The product strategy challenge is innovation at the right price. The way forward is being shown by companies like Henkel, whose Purex detergent brand is succeeding in getting core customers to spend more on their laundry, even in thrifty times – by adding anti-static fabric sheets to the Purex offering. The key issue has become value innovation in the customer’s terms.

Re-thinking Marketing Communications: Already global companies like P&G, Unilever and Kimberly-Clark are launching new products without traditional support such as TV advertising – instead relying largely on online communications to reach younger consumers. People are engaging and interacting differently with communications media, mandating new approaches to marketing messages and their transmission.

Developing Value-Based Competitive Advantage: Delivering superior value is about more than low price and cost-cutting. Major consumer goods companies like P&G are leading the move towards value rather than price-based competition. For example, P&G is adopting “performance-based value messaging” communicating to frugally-minded consumers that it is worth paying more for products like Tide and Bounty because they save money by doing a better job.

Repairing and Rebuilding Value Chain Relationships: The new era is likely to require more investment in collaborative supply chain relationships. A priority will be value chain partnerships for innovation to make profit from demand shifts. For example, US retailer Wal-Mart is cutting back on variety and product choice to offer consumers greater simplicity and more house brands. Others are completely reinventing the route to market to tap into new sources of competitive strength.

Accepting that radical change is the new “normal” and that economic recession has fundamentally changed the operation and structure of markets. In Europe and the US it underlines the need for marketing strategies to evolve and change in line with the new realities faced. The strategic imperative is to see beyond lower prices and cost-cutting to new business and marketing models aligned with new market characteristics.

Coordinated By : Sanchit Verma

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