More than half – 53% – of B2B marketing executives surveyed said their company has undergone a crisis that resulted in negative media coverage, or a decline in sales or profitability, but nearly 6 in 10 – 57% – said their company has no crisis-response plan prepared, reports BtoB magazine.
Some 251 marketing executives were surveyed online by BtoB and Eric Mower and Associates about their companies’ preparedness to deal with corporate crises – which can range from product recalls to nasty word-of-mouth on the web.
Among the findings of the study:
- Just half of the 43% of companies that say they have a crisis plan reported having trained spokespersons, and 10% of them expressed concern whether they would be able to implement the plan that’s in place.
- Some 23% of respondents said it took 3-12 months for their brand to recover from a crisis; 13% said it took up to two years; 18% said they haven’t recovered after two years.
- Among companies that have a crisis plan, 29% said the plan is sufficient to protect the brand, 26% said it protects the brand somewhat, 20% said it does not protect the brand.
- The following were cited among the causes of corporated crises:
- Most B2B marketers – 56% – said layoffs, shutdowns or business foreclosures precipitated a crisis.
- Some 45% cited operational or services failures.
- 33% pointed to legal or ethical problems.
- 32 pointed to an attack, such as negative word-of-mouth or messaging, by someone with an interest in damaging the business.
“If companies choose not to be prepared for a crisis, they and shareholders will pay the price, because crises have a way of twisting and turning till they do serious bottom-line damage,” Peter Kapcio, director of reputation management services at Eric Mower and Associates and head of its crisis communications practice, is quoted by BtoB as saying. “In most cases, it’s not the initial trigger of the crisis that causes the damage; it’s what follows a botched response.”