Marketing in a Slow Economy

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A declining economy affects many businesses.
Many times these businesses cut the marketing and advertising dollars first in an attempt to trim the budget.
Sometimes this is justified, but most of the time it is a huge mistake.
When the economy is slow, it is the perfect opportunity to reach new prospects and grow your market share while your competition is doing nothing.
Most likely, much of the clutter and noise in your market has cleared out, and you will have a much stronger voice.
When the economy turns back around, and it will, you will be in a much better position than your competitors! However, in a slow economy, it is more important than ever to squeeze every last penny out of your marketing and promotional dollars.
Taking a more targeted approach with your advertising effort is the key.
Use your broad format advertising dollars from print, television, or radio and use it in a marketing campaign where you can track results and focus on a key demographic.
If you are still purchasing media, now is the time to lock in long term rates, as these entities are hurting and will likely accept a low rate with a long term agreement from you.
Explore a referral marketing plan where you have absolutely no risk.
Qualify your referrals so that you're not spending a dime unless you're getting additional business from a referral.
Now is the perfect time for this, as your customers want a reward, and you want another customer.
Referrals often increase your market share, because your customers will think of people already using your product or service.
All you need to do is come up with a worthy referral gift, start calling your customers, and ask for a referral.
Once again, qualify all referrals before you reward them.
A referral is deemed qualified when they have spent an appropriate amount with you.
Do you have hunters or gatherers on your sales staff? In tough times, you are going to need people who seek out the new business, cold call, and work your prospects effectively.
It is more important than ever to keep your sales teams focused, so explore ways to incentivize and reward them for hitting goals.
While all other companies are making cut backs, show your employees that you're still willing to reward those who perform.
This easy step will motivate your team, raise morale, and will ultimately drive your sales higher and higher.
Once again, this in an expense that pays for itself with low risk, as you spend nothing unless a sales goal is achieved.
Form partnerships with compatible companies.
Opportunities to save money are everywhere, you just have to ask.
Chances are that at least one company you know is interested in a co-op campaign or event driven marketing activity.
After all, everyone needs new marketing opportunities, and they are looking to save money just like you! When the economy turns around, there will be winners and there will be losers.
Have you positioned your company to be one of the winners?
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