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How The SVB Situation Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Scenario Planning

By Ross Cosner | March 17, 2023 | 0 Comments


With the recent fallout from the closure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank, marketers might be left wondering what, if anything, they need to do. Explicit interest in the bank’s situation is gradually subsiding as shown by the Google trends chart below.

However, effects of a broader impact on the financial system are taking hold, with attention shifting to other downstream concerns or other seemingly isolated incidents. In the meantime, here are some practical steps marketers can take to prepare as events continue to unfold.

Stay in the know.
Follow credible, reliable news outlets and official channels from the Fed or messages coming from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. This includes keeping a finger on the social media pulse. Sometimes brands are actively discussed in social media before they’re aware, the net result being that the brand is caught flat footed (see Gartner’s Tool: Social Media Response Guidelines and Decision Tree).

Perform stakeholder analysis.
The current situation will impact stakeholder groups differently, sometimes in surprising ways. SVB offered private banking and wealth management, but no consumer banking offerings to the mass market segment. Regardless, there are still fears of deposit availability, partly stemming from the 2008 financial crisis. Reports already indicate consumers are concerned about their money and even POTUS has attempted to send messages reassuring the public about stability in the banking system.

As part of a basic analysis, make sure each segment is reviewed (mass market consumers, high net worth individuals, or enterprise clients), in addition to other stakeholder groups like employees (i.e., reassurance through internal communications).

Use scenario planning to prepare responses.
Chief marketing officers and their teams can conduct scenario planning exercises to identify critical uncertainties, guide near- and long-term decision making, and build their organization’s resilience to anticipated changes in the business environment (see Gartner’s Introduction to Scenario Planning for Marketers).

For any communications to impacted segments, be sure to align key talking points across business leaders, legal, compliance, and PR. Deliver timely, accurate messages (see Gartner’s Crisis Communications Message Management Template). An easy solution that offers reassurance and shows a company taking action in times of uncertainty is to produce a set of fully vetted FAQs and make them available on your website, made prominent through featured content sections.

The Gartner Blog Network provides an opportunity for Gartner analysts to test ideas and move research forward. Because the content posted by Gartner analysts on this site does not undergo our standard editorial review, all comments or opinions expressed hereunder are those of the individual contributors and do not represent the views of Gartner, Inc. or its management.

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