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The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age by PHILIP SHELDRAKE

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In the Face of Chaos

A section on facing chaos would have been trickier to pen in 2007. Apart from the sector specific ‘dot.bomb’ in 2001, business life had been in a fairly steady state for a decade and a half. No one can argue now, however, that an acid test for any strategic framework must be its ability to help leaders to face up to chaotic conditions (no one, that is, until the next generation is smiling comfortably a decade or so into the next supposed end of boom and bust).

If this is a subject that interests you, I recommend Chaotics: The Business of Managing and Marketing in the Age of Turbulence117 by Philip Kotler and John Caslione. This is how they see the too-typical response when things get stormy:

When it comes time to make cuts, marketing always seems to get the first swipe, and new product development the second. This is always a mistake because it destroys market share and innovation. … When you cut marketing, you are leaving room for your competitors to get their message out in the forefront and to gain greater market share as yours slips away.

The authors also discuss a natural tendency to focus on the here-and-now transactional customers when times get tight. But such customers are fickle, and always looking for the best deal. The appropriate strategy, they stress, is to continue investing in the relational customers, the ones looking for a relationship with a trusted brand – looking for expertise over price.

Let’s take a quick look at how the Influence Scorecard ...

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