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* Marketing in a tough economy


September 18, 2011

Gas prices are up. The stock market is down. A lot of things are going on in this economy that can scare a business owner to death. I’m here to tell you that - yes, there are frightening things going on but that doesn’t mean you need to panic. People will still buy products and services. What you will see missing is the low hanging fruit. What does that mean to you?

I believe in processes. I believe in measuring. I believe that you control what you control and worrying about the economy is like worrying about the weather. Yes, it can cause problems but you can’t change it. Instinct may tell you to cut your marketing & advertising efforts to save money. That is like not watering your vegetable garden because of a drought.

If the low hanging fruit is drying up right now - that is, the jobs that fall into your lap - do you think it wise to stop looking for new clients all together? My answer is a resounding NO. Listed below are 3 principles to help you get through this tough time.

1. Processes:
If you have processes for bringing in new clients, stick to them. Focus your efforts. Your sales force should still make the calls they need to. You should still ask your current clients for referrals. You should still work on your social networking. You should still plan verticals and look for introductions. This is the time to increase effort, not slow down. Contact your current clients and ask them how you are doing. If they have an issue, you can correct it and increase loyalty. If they are very happy, ask them why they hired you. If they say “fair prices”, ask them if they know anyone else who could benefit from fair pricing.

2. Measure:
Use simple means to measure the results of your advertising such as putting “ask for Mr. Green” in your ads when their is no Mr. Green in your office. Use “mention this ad and receive . . .” or “ask about our fall special.” Have your calls to action go to a specific landing page on your site and keep track of the analytics. Make sure the dollars you do spend are getting you leads. Remember that purchasing is an emotional decision and your advertising and marketing validates you and makes you more comfortable to do business with. This makes it easier for your sales staff to close the deal. You do, however, need to know if your advertising is reaching your prospects.

3. Spending:
Consider spending less on yellow pages and more on your website - this is a medium that you can control and change quickly if you add a new product, service or location. You can also add functions like “tell a friend” or a blog to encourage referrals and recurring traffic. Use google analytics to measure your efforts. Transfer advertising dollars to local Pay Per Click campaigns. Remember that these days 96% of people find local businesses through the internet. Consider doing a couple of e-newsletters in place of just one of your printed versions. Reallocating the dollars will allow you many more customer touches for the same price. Don’t stop the printed version - you may already have clients that look forward to that and you don’t want to disenchant them. Consider spending more time networking on sites such as LinkedIn and Plaxo rather than just the standard networking groups. You’ll spend less money and time and reach more people. You may need training to use them effectively.

This is a time to sharpen your efforts, not eliminate them. In the end, you’ll be more effective and increase profits substantially when the low hanging fruit comes back.

Now get out there and look good.

Chris Motley
Motley Creations

©2008 Motley Creations. Use by permission only.

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* Marketing in a tough economy


September 18, 2008

Gas prices are up. The stock market is down. A lot of things are going on in this economy that can scare a business owner to death. I’m here to tell you that - yes, there are frightening things going on but that doesn’t mean you need to panic. People will still buy products and services. What you will see missing is the low hanging fruit. What does that mean to you?

I believe in processes. I believe in measuring. I believe that you control what you control and worrying about the economy is like worrying about the weather. Yes, it can cause problems but you can’t change it. Instinct may tell you to cut your marketing & advertising efforts to save money. That is like not watering your vegetable garden because of a drought.

If the low hanging fruit is drying up right now - that is, the jobs that fall into your lap - do you think it wise to stop looking for new clients all together? My answer is a resounding NO. Listed below are 3 principles to help you get through this tough time.

1. Processes:
If you have processes for bringing in new clients, stick to them. Focus your efforts. Your sales force should still make the calls they need to. You should still ask your current clients for referrals. You should still work on your social networking. You should still plan verticals and look for introductions. This is the time to increase effort, not slow down. Contact your current clients and ask them how you are doing. If they have an issue, you can correct it and increase loyalty. If they are very happy, ask them why they hired you. If they say “fair prices”, ask them if they know anyone else who could benefit from fair pricing.

2. Measure:
Use simple means to measure the results of your advertising such as putting “ask for Mr. Green” in your ads when their is no Mr. Green in your office. Use “mention this ad and receive . . .” or “ask about our fall special.” Have your calls to action go to a specific landing page on your site and keep track of the analytics. Make sure the dollars you do spend are getting you leads. Remember that purchasing is an emotional decision and your advertising and marketing validates you and makes you more comfortable to do business with. This makes it easier for your sales staff to close the deal. You do, however, need to know if your advertising is reaching your prospects.

3. Spending:
Consider spending less on yellow pages and more on your website - this is a medium that you can control and change quickly if you add a new product, service or location. You can also add functions like “tell a friend” or a blog to encourage referrals and recurring traffic. Use Google analytics to measure your efforts. Transfer advertising dollars to local Pay Per Click campaigns. Remember that these days 96% of people find local businesses through the internet. Consider doing a couple of e-newsletters in place of just one of your printed versions. Reallocating the dollars will allow you many more customer touches for the same price. Don’t stop the printed version - you may already have clients that look forward to that and you don’t want to disenchant them. Consider spending more time networking on sites such as LinkedIn and Plaxo rather than just the standard networking groups. You’ll spend less money and time and reach more people. You may need training to use them effectively.

This is a time to sharpen your efforts, not eliminate them. In the end, you’ll be more effective and increase profits substantially when the low hanging fruit comes back.

Now get out there and look good.

Chris Motley
Motley Creations

©2008 Motley Creations. Use by permission only.

Share This Post: