The Welsh Government has released the third phase of funding to help businesses in Wales stay afloat. The ’Economic Resilience Fund Business Development Grants’ are available to all businesses in Wales, even if you’ve received earlier grants.
With these grants, the Welsh Government is urging businesses to do a little self reflection and come up with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas to adapt and survive. This is a significant opportunity for businesses in Wales to strengthen from the inside out and take a giant leap forward.
Marketing budgets are always amongst the first to be cut when times are tough and businesses are forced to focus on survival. Welsh Government seem to understand that businesses need to invest in marketing in order to help the economy recover from this crisis.
These grants are being offered on a 90:10 or 80:20 basis depending on size… so businesses are expected to pay only 10 or 20% of the total project cost. They are also being issued on a first come first served basis for 4 weeks, or less if the pot runs dry. So today is the day!
There has never been a better opportunity to take a deep look at your marketing and consider how the future of your business could be improved with strategic focus.
Below is what the Welsh Government have said regarding the purpose of the grants… followed by… our interpretation and how it relates to marketing.
1. Reduce Carbon Emissions
We want to enable more of our business base to become carbon light or free.
Positioning (Brand Strategy)
Great. Wales should build a reputation for its green and natural credentials. All businesses would benefit from Wales being perceived to be at the forefront of environmental sustainability and the development of sustainable technologies. But, this is a long-term objective. If you’ve got no short-term concerns… grab some cash and go green! (Actually… leave the cash… there are plenty of businesses that need it for points 2 to 5!)
2. Develop Innovation & Entrepreneurship
We want to support businesses to innovate, introduce new products and services and succeed.
Product & Service Development (Marketing Strategy)
Capital investment is excluded from this phase of funding so… Welsh Government is urging you to think fast and apply entrepreneurial spirit, to utilise your existing equipment and workforce, to develop entirely new products and services. Selling new products and services to your existing customer base is a proven marketing strategy and comparatively low cost. Product and service development is marketing – listen to your customers, understand what’s changed and what they now need, define new propositions and fire up the marketing machine.
3. Increase Exports & Trade
We want to proactively support trade with the rest of the UK and across the world.
Market Development (Marketing Strategy)
The best way to prop up an economy is to bring money in from outside. Welsh Government is rallying you to open up to new markets and sell your products and services as far and wide as possible. Selling your existing products and services in new markets is another proven and comparatively low cost marketing approach. But, just because the products and services already exist, doesn’t mean they won’t need to be adapted or communicated differently to suit a new market.
4. Create High Quality Employment, Skills Development & Fair Work
We want to improve our skills base and ensure that work is fairly rewarded.
This is a two-part point; develop higher value skills and increase value perception.
Training for Higher Value Products & Services (Marketing Strategy + Training)
Higher value skills are directly linked to product and service development, so Welsh Government is encouraging you to invest in training. Of course you should, but not until you’ve defined what new higher value products and services are required and what would be deemed valuable by your customers. Or which marketing strategy would be most viable for your business right now… are you developing new skills for existing customers, or new customers, or to compete in new markets, or to diversify completely with new products in new markets? You’ll need your marketing strategy in order first.
Value Perception & Pricing (Marketing Strategy)
Welsh Government appear to be saying that it’s about time Welsh businesses were paid what they deserve, rather than being perceived to be cheap. Hear! Hear! Value perception is marketing. The best definition of the word ‘Brand’ I’ve ever heard is… “the ability to charge a premium for the same (or seemingly similar) product or service.” Improving the quality and effectiveness of your marketing is the fastest way to increase the perceived value of your products and services – helping your business to be “fairly rewarded”.
5. Develop Automation & Digitalisation
We want to help our businesses to develop and to remain competitive.
Service Propositions & Effective Marketing (Marketing Strategy)
There’ll be a million ideas to streamline operationally, but this is a real opportunity to enhance your products and services with digital tools that focus on improving the customer experience. Sometimes a simple digital tool can be the difference between a customer choosing you or a competitor. You could also invest in marketing automation – utilising data to continually improve communications and the overall effectiveness of marketing.
We think Welsh Government have called this perfectly. Even the timing is perfect as we head into a dark winter with plenty of time for deep thought and contemplation.
We’re a team of experienced marketing consultants. So, if you’d like to make the most of this significant opportunity to strengthen your business with strategic focus, we’re ready to help. Get in touch, and together we’ll figure out how all of the above could apply to your business, before helping you scope and deliver the dream marketing project.
Before we launch into a large project, a strategic marketing review would give you a taste of how we work… https://www.jamesgood.co.uk/strategic-b2b-brand-marketing-review
See what the Welsh Government have said for yourself and check your eligibility…
Welsh Government – Economic Resilience Fund Business Development Grants