‘Baby, It’s Foul Outside’
Happy New Year, everyone. As we reflect on the year that has passed, and look to the year ahead, may I offer some further marketing food for your figurative feasting:
Well, 2023 looks to be a right barrel of laughs.
A cursory flick through The World Ahead In 2023 makes The Exorcist read like a saunter through the rolling hills of Yorkshire on a summer’s day: “Cloudy with a chance of pain”, “Global Instability”, “The beast of stagflation”, “The sick man of Europe”.
So, as we look ahead, it’s no great leap to suggest we face a period of significant instability and uncertainty – a perfect storm of eroding customer spending power aligned with an increased pressure on prices.
Time to batten down the hatches, wait for the storm to pass and the waters to settle. Stay calm and carry on. However, there is, of course, another perspective. It’s one built not on shying away from the turbulent waters we face, but by diving into them. One that looks to up our marketing game rather than shelving it until the sun returns.
One that is less concerned with fairweather marketing, and more concerned with Foulweather Marketing.
Foulweather Marketing is about helping when it is needed most, supporting when it is most welcomed, inspiring when all hope is lost and being hopeful when everything feels hopeless. We must build bridges towards a better reality, a new reality. One where people can live a little more of the life they would like to live, not through making it cheaper, but through making it richer.
Now some might scoff and dismiss such grand notions as the onset of madness, the rumblings and mumblings of a purpose-obsessed generation who have lost sight of the true meaning of marketing.
Naive. A pipedream, no less.
Foulweather Marketing is neither.
So, with that in mind, we at Perfect Storm look ahead not with predictions, but with resolutions:
- We resolve never to whinge about the social climate. It simply marks a change, and isn’t that what we have always concerned ourselves with? Our clients want leadership and navigation not shared, shallow sentiment.
- We instead resolve to lean into this climate, to make Foulweather Marketing our north star, reimagining brands and their customers, through one simple question: how can we help? To get back to basics. To review positionings - all the Ps, not just the Price ‘P.’ We embrace the creation of a Foulweather Marketing Plan. As Les Binet suggested in his recent Webinar, ‘The World Turned Upside Down’, don’t slash budgets, don’t slash prices, don’t slash anything other than lazy thinking. Instead optimise through econometric modelling - we believe that’s time and effort that will be well spent.
- We resolve to do so by staying in our lanes, the lanes each brand belongs in, helping authentically through core competencies, through deeds not words, avoiding the meandering rhetoric that defined the early lockdown weeks and months
- We resolve to work with our clients to galvanise their entire organisation around the spirit of Foulweather Marketing, emotionally and commercially. To rally them around a new reality of optimism and opportunity in the understanding that we will never succeed in transformation if it doesn’t start with the inside out. Foulweather Marketing always begins from the inside out.
Ultimately, we resolve to make 2023 a year when we say ‘enough already’, a year when we focus not on intellectualising but action, making a difference, one customer, one brand, one society at a time. How wonderful would that be? It might not hasten the journey through the turbulent waters that lie ahead, but it would certainly calm them.
As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad weather: Only being poorly prepared and equipped for it.
Bring on 2023.