Marketing a Company in Decline



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Marketing > Best Practices > Marketing a Company in Decline

Marketing a Company in Decline
Liz Mushonga, Project Manager, Zimbabwe, Member
How can one market a company in decline though it still produces good quality. I need assistance as to how to communicate to lost customers as I am slightly technically disadvantaged at the production stage.

Marketing a Company in Decline
Yaser Riaz, Manager, Pakistan, Member
Well Liz, first and foremost you need to be convinced that your product is actually good and of course for that you need to understand it well...
I guess you can start by learning about the product you want to sell. Once you are convinced of its quality you will automatically get a lot of ways and means to marketing it.
Perhaps you come across a case in your childhood when you liked a particular flavor or brand of an ice cream or certain movie. You would automatically discuss and recommend it to others and your mere enthusiasm would make others try it.
Drawing comparisons & highlighting advantages in any medium (newspaper, television, handouts) is of course the most common way, but to me lacks the enthusiasm of selling what you believe in.

Marketing a Company in Decline
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
You could take a look for ideas at our pages Opinion Leaders, Word of Mouth Marketing and Persuation Techniques.

Marketing a Company in Decline That Produces Quality Products
isaiah, Accountant, Kenya, Member
Liz is here raising a pertinent question. Here are key points to consider:
What is the main cause of the company decline, is it a general economic trend /downturn? Change of customer tastes/preferences, introduction of relatively cheap substitutes, a competitor undercutting you? Are your distribution channels reaching customer wide? Has your product reached maturity stage that you may require a relaunch? Is your company socially responsible? These plus other criteria (list endless) will enable you to find a new inflection point for your company. Addressing customer needs is also key. The guiding principle is customer satisfaction. How can this be achieved, has this been achieved in the past? How is our customer feedback captured and handled, do we have a channel/s for complaints and compliments? How do we capture customer requirements, do we have a defined active user group? Is our process production or market oriented? What is our target market/niche? Is there need to create one? How are our 4ps-product, place, price, people addressed in our marketing effort /strategy. Important to note is the market penetration strategy in pricing and regaining lost customers and attracting new ones. An overall evaluation of business/market strategy is due.

Marketing a Company in Decline
Silent Kamambo, Manager, Zimbabwe, Member
Liz, all you need is look at your company from now going backwards to 5-10 years. Check your market share and compare to the current competition in the market, look if the clientele is well, find out how the company lost them.
From that information see the current position and relaunch or rebrand your products, invite all lost and existing clientele, see how it goes from there. Once you have them, don't let go, develop a personal relationship with clients and you will not go wrong.

Marketing a Company in Decline: SWOT
isaiah, Accountant, Kenya, Member
Conducting a SWOT analysis and a response package can produce success. If the decline is associated with competition then reference to Michael Porters 5 forces competive model, it may suffice. If it is due to general economic downturn in indusrty / country then learn from the business cycles, as depressed demand is not permanent.

Marketing in Company in Decline
SANAJI, Teacher, Indonesia, Member
I agree with Isaiah from Kenya. The first thing we must know is: what caused the company decline? Is it caused by downturn of macroeconomic or caused by lower competitive position in the industry?
We must remember that there are two main factors that affect company performance, coming from difference perspectives or theories: 1. First, company performance depends on the resources it possesses. This perspective is the resource-based view of the firm, as explained by Wenerfelt, Prahalad, and other proponents. So, it is an internal view of the firm, and generally manager or management can control these variables.
2. Second, company performance depends on competitive position in the industry as described by Porter, which normally are hard to control for a company.
So, what caused your company decline? It is caused by controllable or uncontrollable variable? If you can define the real cause, you can select a strategy and a program to solve the decline of your company.

Marketing a Company in Decline
A thorough research has to be conducted from both the customers (outside) and employees (inside).
For example all the employees should agree to achieve a common goal and objective.
There must be a good customer relationship to get feedback from them and make them feel proud as part of the company.
There should be innovation to either re-brand or re-package the product to appeal to both the existing and potential customers.

Marketing Company in Decline
I am very much agree with Isaiah & Sanaji.
Also their is the need to research on what marketing communication medium and strategy the company is using to retain customers & making brand visibility.
Using SWOT analysis along with competitive position in the industry is helpful to find pitfalls in the company current strategy.

Marketing Company in Decline
maqbool laghari, Manager, Pakistan, Member
Dear Liz, sales may decline for many reasons, including technological advances, shifts in consumer tastes and increased competition.
Carrying a weak product will be very costly to the organization and the profit of the company will slow down gradually.
If you know that your organization is producing good quality products and satisfies the needs of the customers then you have to make heavy investment in advertising through the available medium like internet, TV, or newspaper.
This is just to reposition your product into the minds of your customer.

Marketing a Company in Decline
john henry smith, Consultant, United States, Member
I agree with most of the posted comments, but I did not see where anyone suggested you contact and survey your customer base, existing and especially the customers you lost. They did that for a reason, you need to know the reason(s).
You state the product has "good" value. What does "good" mean; it's a very vague and subjective term.
Can you validate your "good" quality? Also, I suggest you develop a very clear and overt value proposition.

Reasons for Companies to Decline
Liz, you received already a lot of good input to your question.
Somebody said "there are a lot of reasons why a company declines".
- You can have a declining market with customers expecting other products...
- A good quality product isn't always the solution. The customers might expect cheaper products (this is the case if you are for example in a trendy market where everybody starts producing the same products).
- The competition could be changed. Before you were alone and now you have competitors from abroad.
- You could have an internal issue, for example old machines or too much overhead, or... All things that kills the margins.
It could be a great idea to take external advisers to analyze the situation with "other eyes" and looking at all the levels of your business. Marketing is in this case, I think, only a small part of the solution.

Marketing a Company in Decline
mashoko mparaganda, Accountant, Zimbabwe, Member
Liz I think the best is to see if the market still needs your product. Sometimes the product your company is producing is good in terms of quality assurance assessments yet it is not appealing to the customer.
Make a promotion first and see how the customers react before you spend too much money on a dead horse.
If there is negative response then improve your product product, either by making it more competitive in terms of price, or applying the Just Noticeable Difference concept (JND).

Understanding Why a Product is Declining
MOSES OGOLA OCHWO, Student (Other), Uganda, Member
Hi Liz, I guess you are now awash with ideas... Here are a few moreL:
- Marketing is all about satisfying a need; if your product is declining it may be that someone else is effectively fulfilling this customer need; thus your product is no longer relevant. You therefore need to know who the other players are and their products offerings... If they are doing better then there is probably something you are not doing right!
- The market is very dynamic, so it's important that you put CRM in place this will help you understand your consumers through feedback; it will also help you develop robust relationships with them.
- A simple environmental scan could also help.


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