This show was originally taped on www.talkshoe.com on 5-4-09 and archived version can be heard at: http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/tscmd/tc/33960 and also on PositivelyPittsburghLive's unique radio channel at http://www.positivelypittsburghlivemagazine.com
Marketing Cures for an Economy that Has a Virus ™
One good idea can cure or save a business when the Economy has a virus! Dan Kennedy, famed Direct Response Marketing says that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not thinking of your business differently especially in a down economy. I invite you to use the grocery sale mentality, when there is a sale stock up!
Many of the recession-proof strategies financial advisors are preaching can and should be applied to your marketing efforts.Marketing in a down economy is more sense than dollars, pardon the play on words. Here are ten tips that can help heal your business in a economy filled with uncertainty. The certainty in your business should be that you are going to stay in it by continuing your marketing efforts.
Tip No. 1: Think About Your Long Term Goals
Someone once said, most people overestimate what they can do in six months and underestimate what they can do in two years. Most recessions usually last 18 months and you can survive those 18 months if your focus on your long term gains. As a Christian I am fond of praying, “Dear Lord, I am going to let you take care of provision while I work on prosperity.” Experts will tell you that those who cut their advertising budgets in a recession will hardly increase their sales by 50% in two years, while companies who continued to use advertising budgets have increased their sales by 200%. Don’t trust me, check out “How Advertsiting in Recession Periods Affects Sales, by the American Business Press. The best advice given is to continue to set goals and work continually toward them and each decision must carry with it the question, “How will this affect my business in two years or five?”
Tip No. 2: Don’t Overestimate and Underachieve
Most people overestimate what they can do in six months and understimate what they can do in two years. Instead, maintain a consistent and disciplined approach that always maps back to your long-term strategic goals. More than ever, right now you need to maintain a is laser focused on moving your target audience to action whether it is just getting additional info to store for future purchasers or just jumping in and becoming a customer. It is true that it is taking buyers longer to make purchases and they are more carefully considering them, so you be the one who gives them the information they need and want. Winners love a recesion because it helps them to fine tune and hone their skills. Jumping in and out of your marketing plan will only cause confusion to your audience and hurt your brand in the long run. Your goal should be to keep the clients you have and search out new ones.
Tip No. 3: Avoid panic, no room for primitive emotion here.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt at another crisis moment in history said. “All we have to fear is fear itself.” . Rather than making decisions based on panic, fear and the primitive fight or flight syndrome– which only clouds good judgment – focus on fundamentals of good business practice in promoting your product or idea. Don't pull the plug on your marketing, just fine tune and hone it so that you know that you are getting dollar for dollar back. Two cost effective ways to market in a down economy, the internet and direct response marketing.
Tip No. 4, Think About Your Business in Different Ways
Check out what non competitive businesses are doing, even consider forming a once a month master mind group with them. Are there things in their business that you can tweak to use in yours and vice versa? How can you help each other? How can you get fresh ideas without paying for them? How can you cross market with synergistic non-competitive businesses. For instance in marketing, I can cross promote with web designers, graphic designers, print companies, even some marketing companies who have different nicehs than me.
Tip No. 5: Diversify Your Marketing Efforts
Please do not put all of your marketing time or dollars into one basket. It’s the same as a woman dressing for a man who likes peasant dresses or jeans, she is turning off the guy who likes business suits or tailored pants. In the marketing world, you need an integration of several mixes. You may be able to substitute the large ad in the yellow pages or local paper for a smaller ad and the use of social networking sites for better results and a broader scope. A diversified marketing campaign built from a foundational strategy and supported by PR, online social networking, traditional advertising, and direct response marketing for example, is a safer bet and will deliver more bang for your marketing buck.
Tip No. 6: Winners Rush In Where Losers Fear to Tread
A recession is the ideal time to get the jump on your catatonic, penny pinching, time crunching competitors. Have you never heard the expression, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” That’s what winners do, they win. When the economy picks up again will you be ready, if have you continued your marketing even in tough times. Then you will leave your competition in the dust. When your competitiors cut their markeing efforts and you maintain yours, who do you think will be the long term leader?
With less clutter to compete with, you can and will gain market share, negotiate lower rates for your ad spends or secure added value from your vendors who value your business.
Tip No. 7: Don’t Fall into the Lower Price Trap
Think about why your customers buy from you:
Quality, reliability, trust, service? These are things you should upgrade, continue and sell because if you get scared and lower your prices there is always someone out there who will be in a bigger hurry to go broke than you and you will both lose. Figure out why your clients spend their money with you and why new ones will likely spend it too and then sell these points to keep in touch with reliable clients who will eventually come back and also to go out and get new ones. Judging from the ads on TV and on the internet and radio, there are people out there spending money, it’s your job to find them.
Tip No. 8 Don’t Wait for the Customers to Come to You
I heard a speech once where the multi level presenter was talking about contacts. He said you don’t make them in your living room in front of your TV. Right now many people are doing low cost or even free seminars with networking at the front and back end to lure attendees. Do attend and do build relationships. Relationships are what business is made of.
Tip No. 9 Keep in Touch With Clients and Prospects
It’s still about the numbers. You may have to make more calls to get less sales but perhaps right now it’s not about the sale, it’s about giving out good information and creating relationships. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care, just a brief call sometimes to ask another business, how’s business is and then listening may be the thing that gets that person to think about you when their budget loosens up. Stay in front of your clients with e-zines, newsletters, customer appreciation evetns, yes even when they are not spending money and this is the segway:
Tip No 10 Most recessions are inevitable because the cycle of things is that often a recession follows a boom, it’s that economic gravitational pull.
While recessions are an inevitable part of the business cycle, so are recoveries.Keep up your marketing efforts and when others finally emerge from the marketing sidelines they will find your company gobbled up market share, you'll be glad you listened to those who said don’t dump on your marketing efforts because the world has dumped on the economy.
This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information:
© Joanne Quinn-Smith, Monday Morning Marketeer™ 412-628-5048
Listen at: http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/tscmd/tc/33960
Or on its unique radio channel at:
Joanne Quinn-Smith is the Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and an expert on Web 2.0 Branding.
Joanne has also been designated by the 2009 U.S. Small Business Administration as the Small Business Journalist of the Year for her work with information relevant to small business.