What are the biggest challenges facing business today?

What are the challenges facing businesses today, particularly when it comes to marketing and communications?

As the world has changed dramatically with new inventions and high tech communications, what are the challenges facing businesses today, particularly when it comes to marketing and communications?

In the 1950s business schools were teaching that marketing decisions should flow first from knowing who the customer is and what is it that they want. Once this is known, only then can a company or organization develop a marketing and communications process to sell their products or services.

A current definition of marketing/communication defines it as the business function that identifies unfulfilled needs and wants, determines which target market can be best served, decides on the appropriate products, pricing, promotion and placement to serve these markets.

Given that the underlying principles of marketing/communications (marcom) have not significantly changed the challenges then are no different than what businesses have always had to deal with. And they will likely stay the same for the foreseeable future.

What are the biggest challenges then? The first is to be able to clearly identify who your best prospects are and understand what they want. The second is to be able to effectively position your business against the competition. The third is to be able to select the right message and communication channels that will reach your selected target audience.

While the foregoing are the three main challenges there is another overriding challenge that has a huge impact on the development of a marcom strategy. In a nutshell that challenge is simply there is too much of everything.

Too many communications media to chose from, too may competitors, too many market segments, and too many options and opportunities.

It all sounds very daunting. However one thing that does not change is the importance of being able to focus on your goals and objectives. If you are able to articulate what you want to achieve and who you want to reach, then you can navigate your way through the multitude of options and opportunities that are being generated by today’s complex social environment.

The downfall of many companies, big or small, product or service-oriented, is the failure to be able to become memorable by distinguishing or differentiating themselves in the minds of their customers.

Today’s marcom tactics are focused on building relationships, and that is something else that has not changed. Relationships between two parties since the beginning of time are built on perception, mutual understanding and trust.

The key word here in the world of marketing and communications is perception. The challenge of your marcom strategy then is to ensure that your customers perceive you as someone they want to do business with. That they perceive you have something they need and want and most important that they perceive you to be the best choice to satisfy their needs.

The bottom line for today’s businesses is to be able to focus on who you are, what you do and how are you going to communicate with the people most likely to buy what you have to sell in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

Joe Smith is a communications consultant and an accomplished fine artist. He can be reached via email at joesmith@shaw.ca.

Just Posted

A siren bank near Stotan Falls. Photo supplied
BC Hydro to test sirens along Puntledge River in Courtenay this week

Public safety is very important to BC Hydro, and it’s one of… Continue reading

NIC’s new president Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12. Domae has worked at NIC since 2000, most recently as the executive vice president, academic and chief operating officer. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
New North Island College president launches draft strategic plan

Lisa Domae assumed the role of president on April 12, 2021

Capt. Jenn Casey died in a crash just outside of Kamloops, B.C., on May 17, 2020. (CF Snowbirds)
Snowbirds to honour Capt. Casey, who died in B.C. crash, in 2021 tour

Tour will kick off in Ontario in June before heading west

Artist's drawing of the proposed 52-unit affordable seniors housing project in Comox. File photo
Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society receives federal grant money

The Comox Valley Affordable Housing Society (CVAHS) has received $25,000 in grant… Continue reading

Mark Henderson’s exhibit, “Bikes and Barbies,” is now showing at Artful : The Gallery on Cumberland Road in Courtenay. Photo supplied.
New exhibit at Courtenay art gallery

Artful : The Gallery is showing art by Mark Henderson until Saturday,… Continue reading

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

Relief is coming for B.C.’s struggling tourism sector. (NEWS file photo)
B.C. officials set to announce more support for tourism sector hit hard by pandemic

Non-essential travel is restricted between three regional zones in B.C. until at least May 24

This image released by Universal Pictures shows Nathalie Emmanuel, left, and Vin Diesel in a scene from "F9." (Giles Keyte/Universal Pictures via AP)
The blockbuster movie is making a comeback this summer

Excitement in the industry is growing again for a return to a big-screen normal

More “strings of lights” were seen on May 15, 2021, in night sky over Vancouver Island. (File photo)
Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Most Read