Contingency Planning

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Frank Wehrmann
6P Marketing

The VAST majority of (younger) clients that I have worked with over the last 35 years do not understand contingency planning. They set aside some money for “plan B” but never sort out what kind of eventualities they may have to address in scenario B, C, D, E – or F for that matter. 
After all – “I don’t’ know what I don’t know. And I’m sure as hell not going to tell anyone that I don’t because there are 50 people lined up for my job who will swear that they do know!”

Time and money are two other reasons why marcom contingency plans are becoming rare.

If you want to build a decent contingency plan ...

  • Talk to those who sell and service your products and services to ensure you really understand your business terrain.
  • While time, money and effort will dictate that you focus on the “path of least resistance”, what are the other “paths to market”.
  • Evaluate key metrics like time, effort, risk. Example: oil by ship, pipe, truck or rail.  
  • Build a plan that enables you to change tactics quickly but strategically – avoiding the chaos that often comes with short-sighted plans that run into a brick wall (that’s just a few feet wide).
  • The key is to consider a lot of options. You can only do that by working with people who have “been there, and have done that”. For most brands the intellectual terrain changes very slowly over time – it’s just the media channels that change quickly. Example: people are as risk averse as ever, but today social media can be used for peer reviews to reduce the personal risk of a new product purchase or a new service experience.

My parents lost everything in the 2nd world war and immigrated to Canada in 1954 with their few worldly possessions. Starting in 1965 they began touring America by car for 2 weeks at a time. This is my dad's list as it was originally written in the 1960’s and then used for over 40 years.

This dear readers is what a personal contingency plan looks like:

Passport, Glasses, Sunglasses, Street-map, Pad, Pencil, Camera, Binoculars, Radio, Calculator, Compass, Flashlight, Magnifying glass, Canadian and American money, Toiletries, Sewing kit, Towel, Suspenders, Socks, Kleenex, Tobacco, Pipe, Antibiotic cream, Hand cream, Long pants, Shirts, Pullover, Windbreaker, Underwear, Bathing suit, Goggles, Rainwear, Shoes, Hat, Air-mattress, Blankets, Ground-sheet, Alcohol Stove, Thermos, Pots, Auto-repair tools, Motor oil, Top oil, Tire pressure 30 PSI, Gas, Bucket, Sponge, Cooler, Flippers, Bible, Books, Pendulum, Suit-case, Sun-hat, Pocket-knife, Pillow, Car Wax, Vitamins.

To learn more about how to build and when to deploy a contingency plan – give us a call. We’re here for you

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