By Van Natter Consulting Group

Business Growth Strategies during a volatile market

Growth Strategies that can help your Sales and Marketing teams

At some point, every business, big or small, will experience market volatility.  Some changes are routine, for instance, having a new competitor enter your market, while others, like the Covid-19 pandemic, can make you rethink your entire growth strategy.

When you experience the more volatile market changes, you can either keep doing what you have always done or hope that your business survives.  Or you can take the time to rethink your sale and marketing team’s business growth strategies and implement a plan that will help your business grow even during the most severe volatility.

This article will discuss 5 essential actions to help you grow during such volatility.

1.Gain Deeper Customer Insights

Your customers should be your top priority, no matter how volatile the market is. And you will need to make changes to your tactics based on your customer insights and perspectives on your product. So, while you should always use customer-centric strategies in your sales and marketing plans, it is even more critical to use them during times of market volatility.

Address Customer Issues
Start by looking at how the market volatility is affecting your customers. Looking to uncover new pain points or issues your customers are experiencing due to the volatility. Once you have this feedback, use it to position your product/service as a way to resolve their pains and issues. Keeping your existing customers happy and likely gaining new customers with the same pains and problems.
Re-Optimize the Customer's Journey
At the same time, as you uncover your customers' overall pain points and issues caused by the volatility, ask them about their experience finding, buying, and communicating with you and your products/services. The last thing you want to do is make the customers' life difficult, and without this research, you may accidentally be doing just that. Once you have the information, use it to re-optimize your customer journey.
Learn More About What's Relevant To Your Audience
Another aspect of your customer that you will want to uncover is which demands are most relevant for your product/service. Then use these desires to find ways to make specific changes that address their most essential needs—showing your customers that you care about them as individuals and are willing to change to serve them best.

2.Re-Evaluate Your Go-To-Market Strategies

Now that you have your customer insights re-evaluate your go-to-market strategy (GTM) to uncover how your customer’s needs have changed and how the market volatility has affected your GTM. Some of the aspects of your GTM that you may want to re-evaluate are;

What Do You Sell
This part of the GTM focuses on the functional and emotional attributes your brand/product/service has the potential to deliver? Review this section of your GTM to uncover if your customer insights changes make you fit more strongly with another attribute?
Product-Market Fit
This section spotlights what need your product is satisfying? Here you will want to identify if your current need is still relevant or do you need to shift and focus on a different need. Or, due to the market shift, do you need to make changes to make your product/service more relevant.
Customer Personas
Reassess who is going to buy your product? There are a few things to look into in this area. First, has down-sizing made your original buyer persona disappear or combined with another role. Second, how and when does your buyer want you to communicate with them. I.e., are they still going into the office, and if not, did their work phone go with them? Or, if the role was combined with another position, how do you reposition your product/service to remain a priority with the new buyer?
Competitive Landscape
Re-examine who are you, directly and indirectly, competing against in your market. Uncover it the landscape changed due to competitors leaving the market or others shifting their GTM strategy to promote to your fringe customers.

3.Develop New Sales Channel Strategies

Next, use your deeper customer insights and your renewed understanding of your customers’ needs to develop a new sales strategy. While developing the new plan, look to uncover how you can take advantage of any new sales channels created during the market volatility.

Rapid Testing and Experimentation
Rapid testing and experimenting are great ways to increase your market share during volatile markets as they allow you to try new techniques, strategies, and channels. Then continue using the ones that work and continue experimenting with the others to perfect their outcome. Remember, if you are the first to use and perfect a new sale channel, you will have a competitive edge against your competition.
Enhance The Feedback Cycle
Another aspect to keep in mind when developing a new sales channel is understanding how your target market is reacting to the new channel, and the easiest way to learn this is to ask for their feedback. Since you are performing quick testing due to the market volatility, you also need to shorten your feedback loop by leading your customers to where they can provide their input and allow them to respond anonymously, drop the long-form questions, and have them use a 1 to 10 ranking.

4.Re-Map Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Next, you will want to perform a deep dive into your current marketing strategy. Start by re-mapping your current approach looking for ways to incorporate your new sales channels. Also, focus on addressing any core problems that the market volatility has created in your current plan.

Constantly Improve Yourself
You should always look for ways to improve your sales and marketing strategies, which is exceptionally true during periods of market volatility. Remember, the team that can pivot and adapts fastest during market changes wins the game. Remember not that many years ago, LinkedIn was primarily used to network for a new job. Today 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn.
Diversify Your Digital Media
Work with your marketing team to diversify the media and platforms you are currently using to access the untapped opportunities. As I am sure you have noticed with your web traffic, more consumers access your site via their mobile phones since they are an essential part of our daily lives. Therefore, you will want to ensure that your platform media is formatted for viewing on mobile devices.
Study Your Main Competitors
Another way to react to market volatility is to look at your competitors' actions. After all, there is no harm in taking inspiration from them if you find something useful. Just don't copy what they are doing. Instead, compare their actions to your capabilities to uncover any new opportunities.

5.Personalize Your Marketing Approach

The final essential action to help you grow during such volatility is personalizing your marketing approach. The easiest way to do this is the add a customer-centric view to your marketing. Ask yourself what my customers are interested in, how they want to interact with me, and how they want us to speak to them.

Personalize In Social Media
Create content that your customers find interesting. Write articles or posts informing or educating your customers to gain their attention. Then leverage their attention to show how your services are relevant to them and cater to their needs. After all, almost 130 million Instagram users found a new product by clicking on them after a post.
Listen To Your Customers
Statista reports that 2.14+ billion people made online purchases in 2021, a significant increase from the 1.6 million who made purchases in 2016. Most of this increase came from consumers needing new ways to shop during the Covid-19 restrictions. Many businesses saw this as an opportunity to increase sales and help them survive. So, when your customers signal that they want to interact with you differently, make the change and customize their experience.
Evaluate Your Company's 'Tone of Voice'
Use your research to uncover how your customer wants you to speak to them. An easy way to do this is to think of your business as a person. Then think about what tone it would have when communicating with your customers. For example, would it be professional, casual, upbeat, wholesome, welcoming, kind, or dark, sad, and scary? Whatever the outcome, that is the same tone of voice your business should have when addressing your customers.
Wrapping Up

As we have shown, when experiencing volatile market changes, you can either ignore it and continue with business as usual or rethink your sales and marketing strategies. If you chose the latter, start by uncovering deeper customer insights, then use those insights to re-examine your go-to-market strategy looking for a way to expand into different sales channels. Then re-map your digital marketing strategy and implement a more personalized marketing approach.

If you would like more information on what business growth strategies we would recommend for your company or startup, reach out to us at growth@vannattercg.com

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