Marketing strategies during the recent recession in selected companies
Even a well planned marketing strategy may fail if a country or region goes through a rapid business decline. As consumers' income drops, they must shift their spending patterns. They may have to simply do without some products. By carefully studying the environment, marketers can adapt their strategies to meet market place challenges and opportunities. This generally means adapting the marketing mix and/or changing the target markets. However, the response of marketing managers to recession depends on how they perceive its meaning and impact on their businesses. The purpose of the study was identified to be the determination of managements' perception of and response to economic recession by measuring (1) the meaning of the economic recession to marketing managers; (2) the impact of this recession on marketing decisions; and (3) the resultant adjustments in marketing strategy and action. Primary and secondary data was gathered through literature review and empirical research, respectfully. Data collection consisted of a structured questionnaire to serve as guideline for the follow-up interviews. A total of ten marketing managers participated in the qualitative interviews. These managers were selected by means of a non-probability sample. The recent recession has seen South Africa's real GDP growth slowing to 3% with unemployment rate increasing slightly to 23.6%, manufacturing production falling by contraction of 17.2% whilst the year-on-year CPI inflation rate was 8.1% in January 2009. These foregoing show how severe the recession has been. All interviewed respondents reported price competition to have been fierce during the recent economic recession. In their quest to minimise the effects of the economic downturn, companies adjusted their sales volumes and improvised their marketing spent by using more of company websites and e-mail marketing to keep customer informed of the product or service offerings available.