How to recession-proof your business with smart marketing
It's no secret that today's economy is struggling. People are losing money, and businesses are scrambling to keep costs low and sales high, while the consumer is spending less than normal. Your business could possibly have taken a hit as well these days, and you are scaling back operations in order to keep afloat. When people ask you, “How's business?”, you may reply with the same grumble that everyone else has: “Well, you know the economy is down...”
Do you have to change your operations to adapt to recession? Absolutely. The problem is, many business owners are making huge mistakes when it comes to deciding on what to change. In fact, if you make the right changes, you can thrive in a floundering economy!
This is what you need to do: smart marketing. Why is it that, when business is down or suffering, marketing is one of the first things that business owners say they “can't afford”? How is scaling back marketing going to help turn things around? Here is just a partial list of some of the things good marketing can do for your company:
* create awareness of your product/service
* foster a sense of urgency and a need for your product/service in the consumers' minds
* establish the reputation of your business
* explain the benefits you offer that your competition does not
* explain how your business is different and better that your competition
* offer a strong money-back guarantee
Now, if done correctly, these things translate into sales. Without marketing, nobody knows about your product or service, and they don't know that they need it. So they won't be buying it. By not spending money on marketing, you lose more money than if you just do nothing. It's that simple.
Think of a product that nearly every person needs: gasoline. People have such a strong need for gas that the product markets itself, due to the reliance on automobiles. But throughout this economy's ups and downs, gasoline has gone well over $4.00 per gallon, and has also dropped under $2.00 per gallon. Despite the bad economy, and despite unpredictable prices, people are still buying gasoline – because they need it, regardless. That's the sense that you need to create in your product or service.
So now you say you can't afford to market that much, right? Well, as a business owner, you can come up with $1,000. Invest that $1,000 in a small marketing campaign that will speak directly to your target audience: some press releases, or maybe a well-written and targeted sales letter. Start small and work your way up if you have to. By nurturing a relationship with your market, you increase the visibility of your business, and you can then start turning those relationships into sales.
Some argue that people are spending less, but I would say that people are simply being more selective in what they buy. Money is still being spent; it's just not being thrown around much without thinking. It's your job as a business owner to convince the buyer to spend their valuable money on you and not on something else.
So, instead of cutting back on marketing, get smart about it. Don't sit around complaining. Give your business a fighting chance to succeed. Find a way to keep your market informed of your business and why they need you. Only then will you see your business thrive, and you can stop using the bad economy as an excuse.