It’s easy to remember the risks associated with natural disasters, investments, credit, security, and legal matters. However, when creating and executing an online marketing plan, it can be easy to forget the risk involved.
Why? Are you certain that your marketing plans will succeed? What happens when you hit a barrier? Adding a risk management plan to online marketing helps you foresee possible incidents, measure each risk’s impact, formulate ways to prevent risks, and mitigate them should they happen.
Where Does Risk Occur in Marketing?
The marketing team in any business bears the responsibility of managing the reputation of a company. Identifying the risks involved during communication with clients, branding, and advertising helps you manage your brand. Here are some risks to look out for in any marketing plan.
Customer perception is everything when it comes to managing your business’s image. Your brand always faces the risk of losing value if it’s involved in a disreputable issue. It’s crucial always to manage direct and indirect experiences customers have with your business. For example, any advertisement that customers find discriminatory or controversial by encouraging unethical practices can quickly cause an uproar online.
Sometimes your perception could change after a negative review or using labels and symbols associated with other businesses and cultures. With a risk management plan, you can ensure that you assess each advertisement, product, or statement before being published to the public. For unforeseeable matters, you can hatch a plan to mitigate an incident before it escalates.
Losing Brand Visibility
Cementing your brand in customers minds’ includes rigorous brand awareness activities. Rebranding a business, whether changing a business name or altering a brand promise, poses the risk of losing brand awareness. Identifying the risks of rebranding before it happens enables you to create a marketing strategy that helps your customers recognize and relate to your new brand.
When launching a new product or service, it’s critical to ensure all parts of the business supporting the development are stable. Is your financial plan adequate to cover the new launch? Has your research uncovered a similar product in the market? Is the competition taking out your product? Does your product reach the marketed standards? Understanding these risks helps you create a marketing strategy that matches the company objectives and one that enables you to avoid a scandal after launching a product, only to bail out.
Sharing misleading information or lying about a product or service is a potential risk in any advertisement. Your marketing strategy should have protocols for identifying false and deceptive information before publication and a mitigation plan for handling unethical ads.
Your marketing plan may include partnering with affiliates to increase brand awareness. While affiliation is great for spreading awareness and pushing your sales, it comes with risks. When you associate yourself with a brand that supports unethical practices, you could ruin your reputation. It’s essential to investigate all affiliates thoroughly and to prepare in case of an incident.
A website crashing when customers need to view information and make purchases, or an attack on your social media handles, causing you to spam clients, are all issues that affect your reputation. Handling the technical aspects of your business ensures that your marketing plan sails smoothly.
How to Create a Marketing Risk Management Plan
A risk management plan helps you to:
- Identify risks before they happen
- Prevent risks from happening
- Minimize the impact of risks when they happen
The first step to creating a risk management plan is to assess your marketing plan and business for risks. Start with risk identification– listing the potential risks in all stages of your online marketing plan. List down or foreseeable risks, and research some to cover as many aspects as possible.
After identifying the risks, move to risk analysis. This substep helps you break down each risk, to help you plan.
- Probability of occurrence- what are the chances that the risk will happen?
- Impact- how hard will the risk hit your business?
- Rate- how quickly is your business likely to feel the impact of the risk after it occurs?
- Severity- is the risk low, moderate, or severe, or does the severity change over time?
When you start marketing your business online, you face several risks that you can’t handle simultaneously. It would be best if you prioritized the risks that have the most significant damage at any given time. Setting priorities helps you distribute resources to the problems that have the biggest impact.
There are several ways to treat a risk after it occurs:
- Accepting the risk
- Avoiding the risk- using controls to prevent the threat from happening
- Transferring the risk to another company or business
- Controlling the risk to minimize the impact
After an incident occurs, you need to monitor the impact to check if your mitigation plans are working, or if you need new controls to prevent risks. For example, it’s crucial to upgrade your cybersecurity to avoid breaches, monitor competition to adjust your marketing accordingly, or keep up with changing regulations to avoid crimes.