Not so rare

In business, Black Swan events happen on a regular occurrence. Whole industries have become redundant overnight or changed in ways that see some business with exponential growth, and industry leaders fade into obscurity. Think Netflix and Blockbuster. Think record stores and streaming music. The irony is that in most cases (including COVID 19) Black Swan events had been predicted by experts … and ignored by leaders.

How do you avoid a Black Swan event?

In business avoiding Black Swan events is not so easy. It could be the entrance of a new or international player. It could be a new disruptive technology or business model. It could be changes in market needs or expectations. It could even be another event like COVID 19 that threatens your businesses survival and success. Predicting which events are the biggest threat or opportunity is not so easy. Knowing what to focus on and when to pivot is even more challenging.

The role of marketing in Black Swan events

Whether you've predicted a potential Black Swan event for your business, or you're responding to an event in progress, your commitment to marketing plays a key role. Your marketing is more than just a sales tool. It's how you connect with your target audiences and is a bellwether for change. When properly planned and resourced, your marketing allows you to measure customer attitudes to your products or services. You can test responses to new offers and solutions. You can even use marketing as a way of managing transitions from one business model to another. Your marketing is how you stay connected and keep your finger on the pulse of what's happening in the real world. 

Managing the unpredictable

Even when a Black Swan event results in an existential threat to your entire industry, your marketing can help you to manage the transition. When the market you are in starts to contract, your marketing can help you gain an increased market share. It can also help you identify new opportunities and help you make more informed decisions on how to evolve. Even with a diminished sales team and storefront presence, the right marketing resources can present an image to the world of a business that is dynamic, connected, vital and growing. 

The changing role of marketing

The marketing sector has undergone its own Black Swan events. From the loss of protective legislation to changing technologies and consumer behaviour, we have been at the forefront of many of the most dramatic social, political and business changes of the last 100 years. Those of us with enough experience know that we have not seen it all and are not afraid of the significant changes to come. In fact, we embrace change, and our expertise across many industry sectors informs how we help clients navigate the waters of their own Black Swans. 

The right connections are essential

The right marketing relationships can provide more than just sales. The right relationships bring experience, knowledge and fresh ideas that can transform a business from the ground up, or help a business realise its current full potential. This is a fact that the smartest and most successful business, social and political leaders have always known and used to their fullest advantage.

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About Craig Harris

Craig Harris is an award winning copywriter and 30 year veteran of the Australian marketing sector.