Why Scenario Planning is more important than ever.

When times are this uncertain, with a health crisis impacting the economic landscape and multiple recovery scenarios at play, your only option is to plan for all situations. A wait-and-see approach won’t work, as you will inevitably end up behind the ball. Instead, you need to implement a plan for what is happening at the time, and that is adaptable enough to support the other scenarios as they come into play. Regardless if you are in an industry negatively affected by the landscape like travel, or the ones that benefited like grocery and home fitness, every brand needs a plan to ride out the fall and inevitable rise, or vice versa.

What are the most important considerations for your brand and each scenario? First, you need to ask yourself a couple questions.

  • What is impacting your business most as a result of the pandemic/economy, and are there additional factors that are/will come into play?
  • What and when can you activate specific budget levels and resources?
  • What are your new expectations and goals?

Once you have the answers, build a plan that works for each of the following scenarios, keeping in mind the associated considerations:

Slow Recovery Scenario


  • Tone and messaging appropriate for your brand in this scenario
  • Co-branding/partners or other lower out-of-pocket tactics (i.e. organic social, PR) to communicate those messages/tone if you don’t have the funds to support regular paid tactics
  • Short term fixes/wins you can do now without negatively affecting the long-term (i.e. focus on different audiences, products)
  • Laying the groundwork for future recovery scenarios (i.e. content creation, long-term solutions)


Moderate Recovery Scenario


  • Evolution of tone and messaging appropriate for your brand in this scenario, focusing on addressing customer concerns and the customer experience across all touchpoints
  • Begin to implement tactics in anticipation for the final recovery stage including increasing/kick-starting spend in previously dormant channels/resources
  • Remove “band-aids” you had in place for more permanent solutions


Full Recovery Scenario


  • You should be ready to hit the ground running and open the floodgates given preparation from previous scenarios
  • Ensure the long-term planning you implement holds, but you are also ready to adjust should another wave of the pandemic or additional economic downturn hit (the scenarios and your plan should be fluid and flexible)


Questions, Comments, and The Future

  • Will recovery be gradual and culminate in a full recovery scenario, without turning back, or will we yo-yo back and forth between the different scenarios over the next 6-18 months?
  • Will the industries and brands that benefited from the pandemic maintain momentum as consumer habits change fundamentally, or will things get “back to normal”?
  • For industries and brands awaiting the rebound, will they experience an overcompensation due to pent up demand (ex. Travel industry) or will lingering health and economic concerns keep the rebound relatively weak?

Need help developing your business and marketing strategies to accommodate all scenarios? Ignited is already doing this for our existing clients, with over 21 years of experience across all verticals, we can help your brand too. Contact us for a consultation today!

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