How to Stay Strong in an Uncertain Economy

[As we start a new year, not only is it an ideal time to reflect back on our marketing successes (and failures), but it’s also the time to use that knowledge to help guide you through the uncertainty of 2009.
If you believe everything you read in the media, 2009 will be a challenging year for many. The following are a few strategic marketing ideas to consider to help you better position yourself through the uncertain times ahead:
Be willing to change
Simplicity, focus, and flexibility are valued now more than ever. Talk more to your existing customers and ask them what they want. Don’t assume anything, but deliver exactly what your customers and prospects want.
Protect market share
Your primary concern should be protecting your position in the market, because it’s much more expensive to rebuild your market share than it is to maintain it. If you don’t take steps to protect your share, you may find it impossible to return to the position you once held when business picks up again. If you can afford to be aggressive, you’ll find there may be no better time than now to take market share away from competitors who are in a weakened position.
Become interactive savvy
Engage search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), blogs, webinars, and other interactive initiatives into your marketing mix. These are just a few examples of the interactive strategies that can have a powerful effect on maintaining, and even increasing, your marketing ROI.
Avoid price discounts
Resist the temptation to consistently discount. We understand that sometimes you have to do what you have to do to generate sales. But before you discount, consider other options first that allow you to maintain price integrity, such as added value promotions. This strategy requires the buyer to buy in full and get “something extra.”
Stay flexible
It’s great to develop a yearly marketing plan. But in times like these, you need to be willing to adjust your plan and try new strategies on a very regular basis. Consider testing new creative messages, promotional strategies, and media outlets on a small scale to see if something works better.
Don’t let the current market conditions keep you from success. Despite the difficulty of a challenging market, the opportunities to get creative and find new marketing opportunities can be all around you.
Until next month…

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