We all know the world is facing economic crisis. Banks are collapsing, multinational companies are needed bailout by government and high street names are disappearing every week. In times of recession and economic downturn everybody looks to cut costs and tighten their belts. One of the first, so called, luxuries to go is often marketing but this can be a major mistake.
Take advantage of others cutting back
Whilst we are all looking to cut costs and save where we can far too often this ends in companies cutting their marketing, advertising and sales budgets. But if we stopped to think about it for a minute we might consider this an opportunity to gain a bigger share of the market.
If your company is considering cutting back on its advertising and marketing then so will your competition and if you are not the market leader or a serious player in the market this might be the opportune time to get a better market share.
Whilst the competition cuts back its marketing if you increase or at the very least keep doing what you have been doing then you could well become the new market leader. By increasing your brand awareness you will soon be seen as a serious market player and when the economic downturn shifts, and it will, you will be well placed to take advantage. You will also be seen as a company that stayed strong in times of economic downturn and are therefore more reliable and stable.
Obviously all marketing need to be measured and within a workable budget and it certainly is not suggested that you bankrupt your company just for the sake of marketing. But a considered marketing approach controlled by budget is better than cutting all marketing in the vain hope of decreasing costs.
Use accountable marketing
The best kind of marketing is that which is either free or is fully accountable, that is you can really see where the return of investment is coming in. For this you will need to use analytical software, promotion ids and tracking codes so that you can really see what is and what is not working.
Here are some marketing activities that give great return on investment:
- Pay per click online advertising.
- Free online advertising and links to your website.
- Search Engine Optimisation for natural search rank placement (if not already ranked this can take 6-12 months but is well worth the investment for business 24/7).
- Direct marketing – direct email marketing is generally free but get permission before you send the emails for the recipient.
- Free PR – online and off freely placed press release can increase business.
- Telemarketing / telesales – especially in B2B markets compare knocking on 20 doors in a day or calling 200 companies, with telemarketing you can cover more ground quicker.
- Traceable advertising – if you can afford to keep advertising try and use promotional codes for customers to quote so you can quickly track which adverts are working.
- Promotional offers – advert space can sometimes be secured by offering the magazine, newspaper or website a unique reader’s promotional offer in return for the advert.
- Networking – get out there and talk to all you can about your business help spread the word of mouth.
- Word of mouth – focus on giving a great customer experience and your customers will promote your business for you.