Marketing in a down economy – who would do such a thing? After all, budgets are tight, clients are cutting back, why spend the extra money now? Well, several reasons. Contrary to your business instincts, marketing in a down economy is one of the smartest things you can do. There are fewer other advertisers to compete with, your marketing dollars are likely to go farther, and you will stay fresh in your clients’ minds while your competitors lie low and are slowly forgotten. A study of marketing activity in the 1981- 1982 recession found that by 1985 the companies that were aggressive recession advertisers had grown their revenue over 2.5X faster than those that had reduced their advertising.
The key is to market effectively. Here are some quick tips to help you along the way.
Don’t Be Forgotten. Sure, everyone is cutting back on marketing expenditures so why not you? Well, because it’s human nature to forget. Your prospects will forget to follow up with you and your current customers may be enticed elsewhere. Stay seen. Even if you don’t go full tilt on your direct mail campaign, keep yourself in the marketplace. Get a write up in your local newspaper. Send out appreciation letters to your current customers. Just don’t fade away.
Emphasize Pain Points Your Company Solves. Since many consumers are cutting back on frills, reminding your clients why they NEED you is essential. Do you offer a service that saves your customer valuable time that they really depend on? Does your service maintain the quality of something that would need to be replaced without you? You know why your customers are committed to you – remind them.
Know Your Cost Per Customer. Sounds simple, but many of us forget this important step. No matter what marketing or promotion you are doing, you are spending something to get those customers. Maybe you have an referral system in place that brings in clients on a monthly basis, maybe its an online advertising campaign. Even if it is just you going to various networking functions talking to people about your service. Your time is money. Figure out how you are spending so you can wisely make decisions about your marketing plans.
Don’t Forget Who Loves You. That’s right. You have a slew of customers right now. When you have limited money and time to acquire new customers, it’s always wise to re-establish your relationships with your current customers. Some initiatives that help you get the most out of your existing relationships include newsletters and online ezines to increase credibility and provide additional value and expertise, promoting expanded services to current customers, and offering “tell-a-friend” campaigns that encourage viral marketing and referrals.
Set Higher Goals than You are Used to. One of our tendencies when things aren’t so good is to shrink our dreams to “well I at least need to make payroll”, or “if we stay the same size I will be happy.” I challenge you take your goal and double it! Think bigger than you have ever thought before. It’s amazing how you may look at things differently when you are thinking bigger.
So stop spending your time peering over the fence at falsely greener grass. Now is the time to start watering your own grass and make it grow!