Let’s not mince words, we’re in the middle of a financial mess and it’s difficult to take in the happenings of recent times. I’m no financial genius but I’m aware of how things so distant from our own shores can impact on the local economy. The frustrating fact is that because it’s so distant, there is little we can do about it in a macro sense. So as a strategist how do I believe companies should consider their futures? While we may not be able to drastically impact on the macro environment we must understand that we can greatly influence our own micro situation.Of course consumers lose confidence and certainly customers will behave with greater discrimination but all such attitudes and behaviours are part of marketing science and where there’s an effect, there’s a cause. In marketing terms remedies are available and if you apply the science to a diagnostic scenario, remedies are easier to find.

When markets are buoyant and things are going well most companies can garner profit. When the melt down occurs it’s a whole new ball game. So what is the first step?

At the risk of being horribly boring it’s pretty simple. It’s called planning and that means committing time and resources to getting it right. It’s difficult for some active agressive businesses to swallow and while you can hit a flying duck with a shotgun – you’ll waste a lot of shot but you might just, get lucky. On the other hand you can use a M16 rifle and with one bullet take the unfortunate quacker out of the air. So what’s my point? When there’s a shortage of ducks the M16’s a whole lot better a tool than a shotgun.

If you approach the next year with a shotgun you’re likely to starve, but a plan, like an M16 rifle will ensure you maintain and enrich your company’s growth. Certainly an M16 costs a little more but it’s a small investment in a land of starvation.

Of course as a planner and strategic marketing writer it’s my job to say that. You’d expect that from me. So in defence of my recommendations I simply ask one question. Will someone tell me a better way? If you accept that the answer is to scrupulously plan and build a marketing strategy of substance then tune into this blog for the next four weeks. In this special series I’ll cover some simple techniques of Research; Product Development; Advertising and Building a Plan.

It’s about building your own unique solutions and thinking in terms of vision, assumption, alternate consequence and scenario outcomes. All simplified to ensure even a dummy like me can understand it.

George W.Bush here’s your big chance.