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    Saturday, 9 July 2016

    Of corporate idiots and volatile markets


    – Companies should remain resolute and marketing departments and activities should not be reduced when organisations face volatile economic times like the one currently facing Zimbabwe.
    This was said by Professor Zororo Muranda when he presented a paper at a business dinner organised by Marketers Association of Zimbabwe after the successful completion of their Winter School two-day-session hosted at a local hotel outside the Great Zimbabwe Monuments on Friday evening.
    Some  72 marketers from throughout the country attended the 3 day winter school which started on Wednesday and ended on Friday last week.
    Prof Muranda said companies responded in four different ways when markets become volatile and the economic situation uncertain. 
    He said there were those companies whose reaction is a sure death knell while others would persevere through the storm, employing different strategies and emerge stronger.
    He said the best strategy when faced with a volatile situation is to be flexible strategically.
    "You must have strategic flexibility, fresh perceptions, new factors and agility. You must review your product, redefine marketing segments and do more with less," said Prof Muranda.
    He said companies that pull through volatile times don't downsize their marketing activities.
    The companies that survive storms also employ strategies where there is closer exchange of information within the company and marketing strategy becomes everyone's business, he added.
    Companies that are successful steer out of volatile times prioritise marketing strategy towards short term gains.
    "Companies continue to invest in marketing despite volatility," he said.
    Game plans and spending patterns are changed in order to avoid getting pulled into the vortex of panic. Companies reflect on their weakness and some reflect again on their SWAT/SWOT.
    However, there are companies that take to their heels on the slightest sign of volatility. Prof Muranda described these as corporate cowards and alarmists and this is one of the four ways in which organisations respond to volatility.
    In yet another different form of response, some companies employ a wait and see strategy when they see tell-telly signs on the horizon and these; Prof described as corporate idiots who are swallowed by the passing phase.
    Then there is yet another group which prepares for the volatile times and they do so even in good times. These are called pragmatists and forecasters.
    Those that want to stay in comfort zones are also swept away during volatile times.
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