Time to get honest, and a little Touchy-Feely.
Ever heard the old saying "one cannot save their way to revenue?" It’s true. When times are economically tough it might be tempting to cut your marketing to save money. However, think twice before making that decision. “The Profit Impact of Market Strategy research has shown that those companies which invest in marketing during a down cycle recover from the cycle faster, with increased gains, compared with those companies that turned off their marketing as a way to reduce costs.”1 So, then, if eliminating the marketing department is not the best solution, what are some of the strategies that are good for 2009?
Consider the idea of embracing the challenge of our current 2009 economy and going from “How do I make my business succeed in spite of the economic situation” to “How do I make my business succeed because of the economic situation?” The economic climate does present unique opportunities for growth. For instance, doors open when your competitors cut back on their marketing. But if you’re too busy bemoaning the state of the world to hear opportunity knocking, some other business will walk through that door first.
Social marketing – Go!
Now is the time to share what you know and utilize what other people know1 – in articles, blogs, websites, and any other appropriate marketing areas. People like to participate and be part of something. And let’s face it, there are a lot of people right now that are hurting and wouldn’t mind feeling better about things. So, invite customer participation. Have them share their ideas and knowledge about your products, services, and other relevant areas. This not only gives people a sense of belonging, it also helps us all learn more
Utilize Consumer Knowledge
Ask! Ask your customers what they need, what they want, what would make them happier, rather than assuming you know. Often we design our company information around what we want to say rather than what the customer needs to hear. So use surveys and other communications to find out what your customer like and don’t like about your company and what changes they would like to see.
Because times are challenging right now it is more crucial than ever to keep your loyal customers happy and to turn current customers into loyal customers. So, aim for those touches that set you positively apart – for instance a little bit extra when it comes to customer service. Being price competitive is imperative. Customers can easily search your competitors pricing on the Internet (so should you) so make sure you’re doing the best you can when it comes to price, build in those extra perks, so customers will feel good about your company,
The Internet makes information transparent. It’s there for everyone to see, and for everyone to respond to. Use it. Today’s marketing trends coupled with the economic climate is an opportunity for you, your team, and your business to offer in an honest way the best of what you have for your customers – for your business to become stronger and better. Remember, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” (Karl Marx)
- Marketingprofs.com: Top 10 for Online Marketing Success in 2009 by Aaron Kahlow
- Marketingprofs.com: Five Ways to Fail at Attracting and Retaining Customers in 2009 by Michael DiFrisco