Every good business prepares a strategic roadmap that outlines its key marketing activities and initiatives, called a marketing plan. If you don’t have one in your residential home service business, I highly encourage you to make one.
But like other endeavors, businesses also face a wide variety of marketing threats that often come from outside the company. These external threats to a business impede the effective and seamless execution of marketing plans. As a result, you fail to maximize the fruits of your marketing endeavors and don’t achieve revenue goals.
With that in mind, marketing strategies must be continually adapted and optimized to respond to these threats.
The question is: what exactly are these threats in marketing?
Sun Tzu states that knowing your enemy is winning half the battle — we’re here to give you full victory. This article reveals the four marketing threats in residential home service businesses and provides tips to overcome them.
What Are the Threats in Marketing?
Marketing threats are major challenges that businesses of all industries face. However, a good marketing plan should take these threats into account and include contingency measures for handling them.
Allow me to explain why.
Marketing plans are crafted based on an assessment technique called SWOT analysis. This assessment method outlines four important foundations to guide your marketing direction. SWOT is an abbreviation that stands for:
- Strength – things your business does particularly well that sets you 600 ft. above the competition.
- Weaknesses – the lackluster aspects of your business that you could improve on or avoid.
- Opportunities – openings you could pursue or trends you could take advantage of.
- Threats – external elements that could negatively affect your business.
Marketing threats and SWOT go hand-in-hand.
Because the threats portion of your SWOT analysis covers all the external marketing threats that may jeopardize your business. While internal threats also exist, they normally get pooled with weaknesses because they are resolvable internally. In other words, you have full autonomy about how and when your company deals with them. Conversely, external threats are those you have no control over, which means there’s nothing you can do to stop them.
Your marketing plans, even if perfect in your eyes, are always vulnerable to these marketing threats. However, you can mitigate the damage and soften the blow that your company receives from them. Marketing threats can take many forms, from competition to changing customer preferences and even weather. It’s important to create countermeasures and workarounds should marketing threats arise to disrupt your business.
Business strategists and marketing experts are the best people you can trust to help develop your defenses against marketing threats. While you may do it yourself, field experts have the battle experience to perceive marketing threats before they happen. Plus, they can help identify your undetected vulnerabilities and devise preventive measures accordingly.
Having worked with residual home service industries for years, I have helped power through challenges and remain competitive amid threats. If you want to stay ahead of the competition and overcome threats as they come, Wizard of Sales® can help. Book a call.
Possible Marketing Threats in a Marketing Plan
The threats in business are not similar across industries, and they even vary from one business model to another. Objectively looking at your external environment and communicating with peers may enlighten you regarding these threats. However, you may only get so much information from personal research. Seasoned business strategists can help you identify your industry’s general and specific marketing threats.
With that said, here are the possible marketing threats that can affect your marketing plan.
Threat #1: Economic Change
Economic change is one of the biggest and most obvious marketing threats affecting any business.
Let’s think about it.
The consumers surrounding your marketing environment control how much money your company makes. Your business takes a hit when people tighten their budgets because of economic downturns or recessions. Moreover, economic turbulence forces demand to plummet, and when it does, you may not achieve your desired revenue. This could force you to lower prices to cope with the market threats.
Economic changes can take many forms. This includes interest rate fluctuations, changes in consumer spending habits or even sudden shifts in market demand.
Staying updated on industry trends and being prepared to adjust your marketing strategy is important to protect your marketing plan. You may also want to explore different marketing channels and tactics. For example, online advertising or digital marketing enables you to reach a wider audience than traditional marketing. Ultimately, being agile and adaptable will help you weather any economic storms that come your way.
Threat #2: Competitive Innovation
Another imminent marketing threat that businesses face is competition or competitive innovation. Given the potentially lucrative nature of the industry, new residential home service startups sprout in the market by the hour. Sadly, new businesses mean new competitors, and competition breeds innovation.
To remain competitive, businesses must constantly strive to develop new products and services. Or, in the case of residential home services, craft better value for the services they render. The only way to do this is by meeting customer demands more effectively than your competitors. Satisfying customer pleasure points and soothing pain points while meeting their underlying felt needs gets the job done.
Addressing this marketing threat, it is critical to continuously monitor your competitors’ marketing activities and stay up-to-date on industry developments. Technology is rapidly changing, and if you stay behind the times, you are bound to get left behind.
Threat #3: Politics and Regulation
Any marketing plan is subject to the constantly changing political and regulatory landscape. Political factors such as new policies, regulations, and taxation can significantly impact marketing activity. Moreover, these changes can sometimes make it difficult for businesses to stay ahead of the curve. This is especially true for heavily regulated industries, such as the HVAC industry.
There’s no way to address these marketing threats, but there is a way to soften their impacts. Businesses should be proactive in staying up-to-date with any changes in legislation that could affect their marketing efforts. Monitoring political developments closely and engaging with policymakers will also allow voices to be heard. Finally, businesses should be prepared to make necessary adjustments to their strategy as required by rules and regulations.
Threats #4: Consumer Perception
Consumer perception is another important yet overlooked marketing threat for businesses in the residential home service industry. We often forget that consumers are also humans, meaning their preferences are subject to change. Preferences and perceptions are constantly shifting, and this often makes it difficult for businesses to keep up and stay relevant.
One key driver of consumer perception shifts is technological advancements. When a new player comes along with a more refined, advanced and streamlined offer, you will fall into obscurity. So, maintaining the same level of value you offered five years ago is not always a good idea. The key here is understanding that consumer preferences evolve, and you must adapt accordingly.
Here are some ways to improve your business value in the sight of customers:
- Focus on delivering offensively huge value over selling something cheap
- Make the buying experience a worthwhile journey
- Give customers a superior customer service experience
- Engage customers at every business touchpoint
Doing so keeps your business competitive and enables you to respond to shifting consumer demands.
How to Approach Marketing Threats?
Knowing marketing threats is one thing, but dealing with them is another. Nipping marketing threats in the bud is the solution to remaining triumphant as a business. Here are two basic steps to do so:
Understand the Threats
Successful marketing depends on anticipating and responding to changing consumer needs and behaviors. The best way to do this is by thoroughly understanding marketing threats in your industry. Threats impact the execution of your marketing strategies. To effectively respond to marketing threats, it is important to know three things:
- What they are
- Where they come from
- How they affect your business
These three will guide the development of your countermeasures and help you stay on course to achieving marketing success.
Monitor the Threats
The second step to mitigate marketing threats is to constantly be on the lookout for their tell-tale signs. It’s not enough to have countermeasures, but knowing when they strike is equally as crucial.
Consider this analogy.
Suppose there is a threat of a strong hurricane that will enter your city’s area of responsibility. In response, you prepare first aid kits, emergency food supplies, and evacuation plans. However, if you don’t monitor the storm closely and you leave home before landfall, your preparation might be in vain. Worse, you encounter an accident on your way home because of the heavy rain and strong winds.
The same principle applies in mitigating marketing threats. Your countermeasures are there, but the exact moment that you use them will depend on the threat’s presence. Doing so allows you to time your defenses perfectly. Moreover, it gives you enough headroom to recalibrate your strategy if the threat proves to be worse than anticipated.
The business world is riddled with marketing threats, and complete awareness is necessary to stay ahead of them. Seasoned business strategists and marketing experts like Wizard of Sales® can help you stay on top of marketing threats. With a declining economy, we can help your business thrive and survive. Book a free call with us to learn more.