Marketing in a down economy is always a point of contention in large and small companies alike. Many companies take the approach “batten down the hatches” and wait for good times to return. I think history will and has shown this is rarely as successful as a proactive approach. But what is your proactive approach? What are you going to do?
Let’s face it, when the economy is down many companies are in the position of not having the excess dollars to spend on marketing. When the bulls are running it seems like everyone is doing well, therefore what you do or don’t do does not make as much of a difference. My belief is marketing is less important when things are good.
Inevitably in a down economy certain opportunities present themselves. First off, I think we need to realize that we are not the only ones in a down economy. Our customers, vendors and everyone else is experiencing some of the same negative situations. This in my eyes is the first opportunity. Get to know your customers. Find out what they are going through, learn more about their business and find out how you can help them. When times are bad people are much more receptive to assistance. This obviously pertains to not only your existing customer base but your prospects. People are open to new things, so you better bring them the solutions or someone else will.
The next step is our own outbound marketing. In a down economy we want to market but we need to be smarter about it. The first step is not to eliminate marketing but eliminate the ineffective marketing. It is amazing how many companies do the same things over and over again for the sole reason that once they decide to do something they don’t change. Eliminating ineffective programs can free up funds for new programs. It is also more important to monitor, measure and evaluate your marketing programs. Remember marketing is a process not an absolute. In our next few posts we will cover what are statistical ROIs of common marketing practices currently in use: Direct Mail, Email, Social Media.
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