Most agricultural and specialty pesticides producers are, at this moment, grateful that the industry seems to have borne the brunt of the economic turmoil fairly well. However, we’re seeing strong indication that the effects may have simply been delayed.
Fortunately, there are several indications that the worst of the economic strife is behind us—new home sales have improved and GDP numbers are up. Agricultural and specialty pesticides market growth is expected to remain flat in the coming year, but dramatic losses seem unlikely and more growth is on the horizon: the forecast indicates we should catch up to the 2007 sales index—the most recent peak in the last eight years—sometime in 2013.
The most important key to emerging on top of the industry as the recession retreats is to maintain an aggressive tact in both marketing and product innovation. While it may seem counterintuitive to spend money while the economy is suffering, selective investing in new products and new customers has historically been a winning strategy for companies who manage to emerge from the downturn to build momentum for future growth.
The most successful companies, both in this industry and in others, continue to fund innovation and brand support, even during tough times. Brands we’ve come to know and love—including FedEx, Microsoft, People magazine, Pringles potato crisps, and Era detergent—were all launched during the recession of the 1970s.
Resist the temptation to hold back on the development of new actives, new delivery systems, or other innovative developments. Take advantage of new media and customer outreach communications vehicles—such as e-newsletters, product support forums, and other social media—to boost brand support in a more economical, yet arguably more powerful, way than traditional, expensive print and broadcast advertising. Work with retailers to negotiate shelf spacing, conduct in-store “clinics,” and other promotions to build and retain brand awareness.
Finally, don’t ignore the push for green products. While product development has been tough—balancing efficacy with environmental friendliness has been a challenge—as stricter regulations limit the use of certain products, the launch of safer or natural alternatives could propel a company to rock star industry status. Remember, the leading trend mentioned specifically by handling pest control applicators is the move toward green products.
Through an aggressive innovation strategy, even a downturn can present unique opportunities to help kick-start recovery in the coming year.
Thank you for sharing!