[As marketers, we can look at the current economic conditions and choose to do what most marketers do””pull back into our shells and hope we survive. Or we can take control of our own destinies and aggressively look to discover new opportunities. History tells us that marketing opportunities are abound in economic slowdowns.
Times like these call for innovation and creativity when it comes to your strategy, your message, your media selection, and your promotions. Following are some tips to help you not only survive these times, but to steal market share from your competition.
1. Brand Is Key””If a buyer is loyal to a brand (the promise made) they are less likely to stop purchasing that product or service during slow economic times. Be sure to keep your brand in front of customers and prospects any way you can with a relevant message.
2. Promote Value””Tough economic times can create an age of “conscious consumption.” Just because consumers can afford to buy doesn’t mean they will. People are questioning their need to spend. The best way to encourage them to buy is to emphasize value (this does not mean being at the lowest price). This value-for-money equation is the strongest message you can put forth. Tout product benefits gained by choosing your brand over those of your competitors.
3. Don’t Forget Your Customers””Now is the time to court your existing clients. Make sure that a portion of your marketing efforts is directed at the folks most likely to buy from you: your existing customers. Offer them customer loyalty value-added options, invite them to get free information, or simply communicate with them on a regular basis to let them know all is well.
4. Choose Media Wisely””Instead of eliminating media altogether, consider reducing the size of your target audience and only targeting those prospects with the highest potential for return. You need to stay in front of your hottest prospects, even if it’s only to let them know you are still there. Interactive media works well for this because it’s personal and cost effective.
Next year could prove challenging for those marketers that do not think creatively or aggressively look for new opportunities. But remember: these are the times that can position companies as next year’s leaders.
Until next month…