Marketing Contingency Plan: Why It Is Important, and How to Prepare One

Do you have a marketing contingency plan? Crises happen, but often businesses aren’t prepared to keep their marketing alive. This 5-step contingency plan for a marketing strategy is essential.

Your 5-Step Guide for an Effective Contingency Plan for Marketing Strategy

Why would you need a marketing contingency plan?

Crises happen. Who would have thought the world would virtually shut down because of a virus? 

Not all crisis events are on the scale of Covid. A flood or fire could spell closure for your company. Whatever the event, it shouldn’t mean disaster for your business.

This is why you plan for such contingencies.

But let me ask you this: do you have a contingency plan for marketing?

Why you need a contingency plan for marketing strategy

Your marketing function is the most important customer-facing department. Your marketing is what informs your target audience about your products and services, and about who you are as a company. It’s crucial not only to sell but to attract new customers and even new hires.

Don’t risk your marketing plan. Contingency plan for all risks associated with marketing, and you’ll ensure an effective response to navigate any unexpected event or issue that affects your marketing plan.

Here is a five-step contingency plan for a marketing strategy that will help ensure your business doesn’t suffer, whatever the crisis it faces.

Step #1: Evaluate the risks to your marketing plan

First things first. What could go wrong? What events could disrupt your marketing plan? Natural disasters and global pandemics aside, what else might disrupt your marketing operations? Take the following steps to evaluate these risks: 

  • List all the potential risks to your marketing efforts

  • Analyze these risks based on severity and likelihood

  • Prioritize the risks that are most likely and most severe

  • Make an inventory of your resources, and rank in importance (tools, facilities, people, teams, departments, etc.)

  • Monitor each risk regularly, and reprioritize if they increase in likelihood or severity

Step #2:  Plan marketing contingency for each risk

Having identified and prioritized each risk, you must plan a suitable response to them. Focus first on the biggest risks. When doing this planning, you should set out the actions you will take to respond to the risk of becoming an event. To do so:

  • Review all current marketing activities, both planned and booked

  • Develop a strong communications strategy to communicate to and support customers, and to communicate internally how you are responding to the issue

Step #3: Ensure the viability of the plan

Remember, a marketing contingency plan is a backup plan for the worst-case scenario. It is an alternative to the original plan in case the original one fails because of a realized risk.

To ensure that it is viable, you need to first make sure that it is realistic and achievable. You’ll need to get your plan reviewed and approved, and ensure that you have the resources to execute it, including:

  • Staff

  • Materials

  • Tools

  • Funds

  • Etc.

Step #4: Communicate your plan

Communicating your marketing contingency plan to the stakeholders is crucial. This will ensure that all those affected by the plan will know what is expected of them and what they can expect. 

You should discuss your planning with the marketing team. This will ensure they are aware of their role in monitoring and responding to risks. The plan should also be distributed in a written format. This helps avoid any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of your plan, which can occur more often when it is only communicated verbally.

Step 5: Iterate and update

It’s crucial that you monitor for risks. As the economy, society, and environment evolves, potential risks will, too. Some risks will lessen, and others will increase. There may be new risks that appear.

In addition, your business will evolve. The resources you possess to react to risk events will change. People move on. Technology advances. 

As risks and your capacity to deal with them evolves, you must update your contingency planning. Monitor, adjust if necessary, and communicate the revised plan.

Prepare for the worst. Hope for the best.

An unexpected event can destroy a business if that business is not prepared for it. Therefore, it is wise to consider the worst that can happen and hope for the best. 

Every time we get in a car, we take a risk. We don’t plan to have a car accident, but we do have contingency plans. We drive slower in the rain. We avoid using our cell phones. We have accident insurance.

Shouldn’t you draw up contingency plans for your marketing plan?

To learn how we help our clients do exactly this, click here to book a live demo of BlabberJax in action.

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