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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A WestJet flight on the runway leaving Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Aviation company seeks contracted employees to fill former WestJet roles at YQQ

Menzies Aviation from Edinburgh Park, Scotland, operates in 34 countries across the world

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Conservation officers are warning the public to avoid the wooded areas around… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
SD71 to address COVID-19 exposures with virtual town hall

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 4

Courtenay Elementary is the latest school on a growing list that has COVID-19 exposures. Google Maps photo
Courtenay Elementary latest school on growing list of COVID-19 exposures

Exposure dates at the school on McPhee Avenue are Feb. 22, 23 and 24

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read