When times of running a business seem a financial challenge, the first thing business owners examine is their bottom line. I mean after all, business is business and if you’re loosing money, it’s time to review the damage. But what many business owners do first is cut their marketing budget. However, many experts believe cutting your marketing budget, is the one thing you shouldn’t do in a recession. Here’s some evidence why.
First of all did you know that MTV, iPod and even Crest White Strips were all launched successfully during recessionary times? It’s true, and most of the success they experienced is attributed to their marketing battle plan and innovation.
So how do you increase your company’s exposure to the market, save money and at the same time make your marketing budget go further?
Here’s a list of tactics that can help your reallocate your thinking about your marketing budget and in turn effectively promote your company.
Jump on the social media bandwagon. Build up your social interactions.
In a recent study conducted by the Association of National Advertisers, a whopping 28% said that social media integration would provide the most growth opportunity for their companies. What’s more when asked to name their preferred vehicle for this integration, 32% said they didn’t know what to use. Now that’s an opportunity.
Be one of the first in your field to try out Facebook. Maybe you could Twitter about the latest innovation your company has created. It’s all about getting your business out there and what’s more, often times the most you’ll invest is time as many of the social media platforms are FREE!
If you don’t understand the social media arena, ask around, people, like myself, specialize in helping companies set up professional social media solutions and would welcome the chance to clearly explain the tactics that will work for your company.
Look at your customer’s feedback.
One thing I always ask my client is …
“Do you know what your clients are saying about you?”
Several clients will answer yes and others may have a blank stare. Bottom line if you don’t know how your clients feel about your product or the service you provide, now is the time to beef up on that golden nugget of info. Positive testimonials from your customers are key and give your business validity. Here’s how you can gather testimonials:
· Send out a survey through Survey Monkey that asks about their experience with your business.
· Have them place a recommendation on your LinkedIn page.
· Schedule a one-on-one meeting with your clients and record their thoughts
Bottom line before you ever publish their feedback in a brochure, on your website or within a letter, ask their permission to use their comments. This is also a great way to improve the product or service you offer. Many companies say it’s their client’s feedback that helped them craft their top-selling offerings.
Strategically plan your marketing budget.
When faced with a recession, it makes sense to create a detailed plan for your company. Your probably already have a fiscal projection in place for 2009, but many companies don’t generate a marketing plan. I have often heard people say, “If I have money left after the first quarter, I might place an ad in the local paper.” While this may have worked in solid financial times, it won’t work now.
You have to generate a buzz about your company and the only way I know to do that is to keep your business front and center of your target market. Creating a thoughtfully executed marketing strategy that has some component which places your company out there each month is vital. There are many companies, like mine, that specialize in helping clients create a plan. However, if you feel comfortable charting out there here’s an article from Entrepreneur.com than can help get your started.
Bottom line … it’s time we make our dollars work harder for us. Through effective marketing and self-promotion tactics, you can generate a buzz about your company that grabs your target market’s attention and prompts them to buy your product or service. It just takes a bit of planning, a pinch of creativity and a sprinkle of customer insight. Walla … a recipe for success has been created.
If you want to know more about how to effectively market your business, let me know. I have lots of research on the subject and would be happy to tailor a solution to fit your needs.