Okay, everyone is talking about this economy and quite honestly some of the Marketing advice I am hearing is so random…. It's no wonder some businesses are acting like mere chickens with their proverbial marketing heads cut off. Better to get clear about the outcomes you want to achieve before dizzying yourself in ill advised and fear based actions.
Think before you act…
Small Business: Big Business Marketing TO DO'S 2009
DO focus; pick a couple ROCKS- GOALS- INITIATIVES and FOCUS
Now is the time to be a lazor beam – clarify the end in mind and the goal; focus your resources and energy and build the team and strategies to execute. Then do it. Day after day take the actions to create completions, move the ball a couple yards, get a breakaway…stay intent on the goal line and score; momentum creates momentum.
? What are 3 things that could radically improve sales, cash flow, Net Income, client loyalty, average ticket, volume, client or team satisfaction? How can products, services, promotion, distribution and pricing variations, augmentations, changes, additions, revisions make this possible? Should you bundle, add new, open new distributions, align with strategic partners, license, cut dogs. Step back;what must happen, be open, be flexible, to how the answer might avail itself
Think, don't act till your focused. Less can be more!
2. Get Personal
Everyone is a buzz about connections, networking: Social media is happening. Make every communication effort personal- use what you know about your clients wants and needs and your solutions to customize your communication to their needs right NOW. Keep your communication and marketing personal on the focused items you've chosen to target. As much as possible, identify what each client personally is looking for and work with your team to provide over the top customization NOW; only on the goals, targets and initiatives that you and your team have decided offer you the best opportunity to score! Personalize with focus!
? How is your team customizing their communication with clients, new contacts? How do proposals, presentations, communication pieces reflect your understanding of the times, and of your individual clients needs and wants NOW?
3. Think Value
Marketers often cut price, promote and discount. I think;how can I rock value. Value skyrockets when we exceed clients expectations. What can you add to your services and products that would WOW your clients now, help them in this current time and how can we do this and maintain goal Net income?
? What additional solutions can I provide and still maintain profitability that will dramatically increase my clients perception of the value of my business, my products and my services? ( Think about your knowledge, your connections, your resources…think outside of your current product mix and think about how the changes in the economy offer new opportunities for you to be the answer, solution to your clients new and evolving needs)
4. Stay on the offense
Don't you dare cut your communication efforts- sure look at efficiency but I've built double digit growth in a service chain thru a recession and I know if I would have laid down and cut the marketing budget we would have failed. Negotiate with vendors, ask for more, ask for new things, work with people who will work with you and by all means use all the social media and free communication platforms you can- but don't you even think about defense- the best defense is an offense that gets in the end zone and stays on the field running the clock. If you are a retailer look at your in store point of sale system; are you capitalizing on your square footage, if you're a service company look at the goodwill of your repeat clients are you leveraging them as part of the tribe and galvanizing them online to tell your story? Are you asking them to review you at City Search, Yelp, are you getting them involved in your blog with contests and events…If you are a product company who can you align with to increase exposure- what events attract your target ,where is your target; get up close and develop trade alliances to get your product into new hands for the most effective use of your marketing $.
? What can you do to be more effective at telling your story – presenting your solutions at a cost effective way ? How can you leverage the local community to rally around your company and to support you…how are you supporting your local community?
5. Innovative Quality
Gone are the days the client is going to pay the most because it's cool. Today clients want to be smart and they understand you don't have to spend a lot to have a great life, look at Walmart. They are capitalizing on our desire to be smart, and save…What smart, innovative, cost effective value based innovations are you providing? WHo would have thought you could get a top of the line flat screen at Walmart?
? What makes you different and why are you the smart choice NOW for your clients- guarantees, warranties…service promises; all work.What's unique about your product/services? How do you make your clients feel smart about spending with you now? What is the highest value solutions that are innovative and smart that you can offer NOW?
Business Marketing….success in 2009
Because it matters