A lot has been said and written about the current crisis: who is to blame and how to be. But tips on how not to fall for his bait are extremely rare. While in an atmosphere of despondency everyone is busy saving the drowning, optimist Igor Kachalov, marketing consultant and president of the Kachalov & Colleagues Agency, at the forum “Strategic Challenges for the Home Furnishings Market in a Crisis”, says that he provides full combat readiness before any crisis. Options for preparing for the crisis were studied by Anna Komissarova.
According to him, the current crisis is by no means outlandish. Since the UK crisis in 1825, economic disruptions occur in the world every 8-10 years. Since the mechanism of the crisis was described by Karl Marx, no changes have occurred. The sequence is as follows: real income of the population decreases and purchasing power decreases - the number of purchases on the market decreases - sales and incomes of b2c companies decrease - purchases from b2b companies on raw materials and equipment decrease - products and incomes of b2c companies decrease. Thus, the main issue of anti-crisis marketing is what to do when the consumer has less money.
In the event of a major or minor crisis, it is always necessary to keep prepared Anti-Crisis Plan B, which prescribes what and how to sell in a crisis situation. To calculate the demand for the year ahead, taking into account the crisis fall - aerobatics. Therefore, it is necessary to predict various development scenarios in advance. And when there is no time to develop a new advertising campaign and shoot a new video, you need to keep an advertising plan and emergency materials in stock. A mock-up of cost-effective anti-crisis packaging should be prepared in advance and an agreement should be reached with the factory that will produce it. And even with several factories, because it is not known which one will go bankrupt. The same goes for the cost reduction plan. This may be moving to a cheaper office, sending some employees to outsource. These measures will help the company survive. But in order to use the crisis situation for your own growth, you need to be prepared to adjust the assortment offered to the client.
The simplest principle of the crisis assortment is a decrease in the quality of raw materials, as well as final goods and services. It can take many forms: yogurts can become more fluid, aircraft interiors more dense by reducing the distance between the seats. But this is the biggest risk, because it is so very easy to lose customer confidence.
Nestle showed a good example of immunity during the Russian crisis of 1998. Then the dollar soared four times and the incomes of the population fell as many times, and the price of coffee increased six times. When the coffee market came to a standstill, only one Nestle company was selling. She had in advance prepared for the Anti-Crisis Plan B. Instead of iron cans, coffee began to be produced in cardboard boxes that were higher than other cans and therefore were striking in the shelves. Although visually it seemed that there was more coffee in cardboard packaging than in fifty-gram cans, in fact, they had ten grams less - only forty. This "lack of sleep" was official - it was written on the boxes: 40 grams. Thus, Nestle reduced the quality of coffee and raw material costs by 20%, which made it possible to offer the market a product several times cheaper than the cheapest competitor - Pele coffee.
Igor Kachalov considers the unpreparedness of Russian companies for the crisis as a consequence of the transitional age of the Russian market economy. Inspired by the growth of the market and the absence of blows to the head, companies did not think that they would be in a puddle. That is why Western experienced colleagues do not perceive Russian business as competitive in the Russian market.
The lack of Plan B is far from the only weakness in organizing Russian business, Igor Kachalov said. We have exorbitantly high salary requirements for employees combined with low labor productivity. Instead, one employs two to four people. Meanwhile, in European companies, conditions for increasing efficiency are already set in the employment contract. Sales performance is measured by dividing sales by square meter of sales area. That is, if sales for every day from one square meter cover the cost of his rent, this means that the seller at least copes with his task. And if the employee does not sell the set amount of goods at the declared salary, then they simply dismiss him. The manager who did not make up or made the wrong anti-crisis plan is dismissed. Lack of experience or lack of knowledge on how to increase sales does not relieve liability. “Many books have already been written and a huge number of various trainings and seminars are being held. If the Russian business were organized more rigidly and clearly, ”says Kachalov,“ then in order to justify the desired size of the salary, a person will be forced to work efficiently and will go looking for the necessary information to increase his own efficiency.
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