Category Archives: marketing in a down economy

Out of a Recession, Into New Marketing Messaging

Okay so maybe we’re not out of the recession woods yet, but I have a sense things are turning around. My colleagues are getting busier and let’s face it, I haven’t had a lot of time to go out for a leisurely afternoon latte!  The long and short of it is this. As I talk with more and more small and medium-sized business owners, I am hearing that their old marketing maneuvers in the form of brochures, print ads and yellow page advertising just aren’t working. While these venues do work for some industries better than others, it’s often how the  company communicates and what they say that has a true defining impact on their bottom line.

Should you just ‘Say Anything’?

The first question, when I begin brainstorming with the client, normally is about marketing messaging.  They ask me, “Isn’t it okay for my message to include something for everyone.”  This is often one of the biggest mistakes a company can make. Don’t sell everything to everyone. It doesn’t help you stand out in the crowd.

Think of your message as a banner flying over your community. If you only had Five Words to say,  that summed up exactly what your business does, what would they be? It’s not easy, but it gets you to begin thinking about short messages that stick.

See Nike’s “Just do it.” Or what about Apple, they don’t even have one, they just have an image … an Apple. Seems pretty elementary when you think about it, but this one concept can cause major problems, especially if you use multiple messages.

If you want some real examples how the recession and new marketing messaging is changing the income for some businesses, take a look at these examples.

Happy Messaging-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

Leave a comment

Filed under Advertising, copywriting, Marketing, marketing in a down economy, Small Business Solutions

Give Me A C. How About 4?

Enjoy A Poolside Read!

This week has been nuts. Partly because only 4 work days existed and partly, cause I am just busy. So this week, the blog looks a bit sad. With that I owe you, my faithful readers, an interesting article. This week I discovered an article about How Sustainability Marketing can help in a recession. Learn about the  4 C’s of sustainable communication!

Take a read, hopefully while you’re sitting poolside!

Happy Smart Marketing-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

Leave a comment

Filed under Advertising, copywriting, Marketing, marketing in a down economy, Small Business Solutions, Writing

Advertising Innovation-Just Shake It

dockersiphoneAs a total Mac geek, I had to take this opportunity to share the latest in my two worlds converging. Apple and Advertising. Seriously, in an economy where many businesses are cutting back on their advertising dollars, Dockers is using it’s head to move forward in an exciting new realm – advertising on the iPhone. And while I am not super charged about having ads on my phone, I am intrigued to see how companies are getting creative with capturing an audience. 

I am sure creating an ad for the iPhone wasn’t cheap, but it is a new and innovative approach to traditional advertising. I’d love to hear some of the other exciting advertising venues you’ve seen. Post your comments here. 

Keep your creative eye open. New ways to market your business are out there. All you need is an open mind, not always an open wallet.

All the best-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

Leave a comment

Filed under Advertising, Marketing, marketing in a down economy, Small Business Solutions

Have You Referred Anyone Lately?

picture-21This week is an important week for small business owners. Well, every week really is, but this week is Referral Week and as each of us knows, sharing valuable contacts with your business associates, clients and co-workers is a fantastic way to generate business for others. Through out this week, many small- to medium-sized businesses are sharing their contacts with others in hopes of stimulating the business sector in a unique and profitable way.  With that said, there are several people I would highly recommend and hope through out this week, I can share those contacts with many of you. 

Want to get started? Check out this link to Referral Week. It only takes one referral to help your clients change the face of their business. Are you game?

 

Happy Referring-

Sarah @Dog-Eared Pages

Leave a comment

Filed under Advertising, Business Development, Marketing, marketing in a down economy, Small Business Solutions, Uncategorized

Irritating Name, Astounding Success

By now most of us have heard a story or two about a little blanket (Linus would be so proud) that could. It’s the Snuggie and I have to tell you as a person that’s hyper-sensitive to words, this one about makes me want to rip my ears off. However, as I calm down, and just call it the “special blanket” to keep from igniting my sensitivity, I realize there’s a great marketing success story here. 

In case you have no idea what I am talking about, check out this commercial for the “special blanket”.

This commercial was just launched in October of 2008, and with the downturn in economy, most people would say it would be a total flop. However, with big ad campaigns that normally run being cut due to clients pulling back ad dollars, this product capitalized on a real opportunity. With competition down, many consumers looking to things that would enhance staying at home and an ad that uses direct response to hit you over the head to buy this “special blanket”, over 4 million blankets have sold; that’s just over $40 million in revenue. Yes it is true, even in the world of Web 2.0, direct response still works.

What should advertisers, small business owners and marketing gurus learn from this? Two things ….

1) Never under estimate the power of YouTube.  The “special blanket” has had over 200 parodies created on YouTube, which means there’s a buzz going on and that means people’s interest in the product is soaring-a marketing delight. What’s more YouTube videos make it easy to find ads you have seen on TV. YouTube instantly becomes a video vault, reference point and in cause you  missed that 1-800 #, a remarkable selling tool. And … it’s free!

2) Face It-Facebook works. And while  you are connecting with some of your old high school buddies, now you can also be part of the viral media buzz by joining the Facebook Snuggie Fan Club. What more could a company want? A fan club for it’s product. It’s true and get this, this club already has 4,000 members and going strong. How’s that for a little WOM (word of mouth)?

And if all this isn’t getting you marketing mind all warm and fuzzy, maybe you should check out the “special blanket” website for yourself and order one.

Stay warm and connected to the viral world-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages


1 Comment

Filed under Advertising, copywriting, Marketing, marketing in a down economy

Words Are Captivating

I couldn’t let this video pass by without sharing with you. One of my dear friends, who is a life coach passed this on to me as she knows my love for words and anything that contorts them in an unique fashion. So take a look at this one. I think you’ll agree it’s pretty amazing what they have done here.

So what does it have to do with business? My challenge to you is this, find a way today not to take everything at face value.

  • Is there a way to make your business run smoother using resources you currently have? 
  • Can you review your current marketing assets and see if there’s away to use what you already have in a new way? 
  • Have you touched base with your scads of LinkedIn contacts to make sure they don’t need your product or service?
  • Are there things you are currently doing within your business to an excess that could be trimmed and the savings could be passed on to your employees?

Just a few questions to ponder as you view a list of words that somehow become magical.

Choose your words wisely-

Sarah @Dog-Eared Pages

1 Comment

Filed under Business Development, copywriting, marketing in a down economy, Writing

Be Still My Freelancing Heart

After reading an article entitled More businesses are using freelancers, experts say on CNN.com, I had to write a quick post to share with you. Here’s some insight that might prove helpful in your business, at your job or even in your search for a new job.picture-4 

According to this article, many people, like myself, are seeing a positive spin on their businesses. It seems that many companies are discovering how to work smarter, not harder by eliminating unnecessary expenses when looking for creative marketing solutions. Businesses see the value of working with what is termed as Solopreneurs on a project-by-project basis. While the larger companies are still out there doing huge marketing campaigns, many small- to medium-sized businesses are using targeted marketing tactics like social media to get their message out there in a cost-effective way. 

So what does this mean to people searching for jobs in this new arena? Well, think like a small business owner. Where would a potential employer cut first? What’s more, how can you fill this need? What tactics can you use to leverage yourself into a job that is a win-win for both of you?

What I ask of you is this. If you are looking for creative talent, and your resources that are ‘in house’ are swamped with work, or have limited creativity, turn to a freelancer that specializes in what you do. Freelancers are a cost effective move as they don’t require benefits, are able to focus on your project with minimal distractions and bring a background of problem solving solutions they have seen work in a variety of businesses. For more, check out my blog post 5 Reasons You Should Hire a Freelance Writer. 

All the best-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

 


Leave a comment

Filed under Advertising, Business Development, copywriting, Job seeking, Marketing, marketing in a down economy, Small Business Solutions, Uncategorized, Writing

A Recipe For Success In a Recession

 

Breakfast Time @ Lion's Gate-Newburg, Oregon- June '08

Breakfast Time @ Lion's Gate-Newburg, Oregon- June '08

 

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.

 

Happy Marketing-

Sarah @ Dog-Eared Pages

1 Comment

Filed under Business Development, Marketing, marketing in a down economy, Small Business Solutions, Uncategorized