If you are a small business owner, we know what’s on your mind right now. We get it. As a small business, we’re reevaluating our business and researching the best ways to ensure we get our business and our employees through the craziness that is our world market right now. Inflation and economic downturn is nothing new. We are not the first generation of Americans to face an economic downturn. Our nation has been through at least 11 notable recessions since her birth. This isn’t new territory, it’s just new for most of us. We are going to run a 4 part series on how to ensure your business thrives during tough times.
Week One: Market Your Business Like Never Before
I know what you’re thinking, “I’m looking for ways to cut costs and save my business!” Hang in here with me. When money is tight, the very first thing we do, business or personal, is look at our finances and find things we can cut. Unfortunately, marketing and advertising is almost always on the cutting board. Experience shows this could be a huge mistake. If anything, this is the time to capitalize on your market.
The marketing budget is always easy to cut. Technically, your business can still service your customers the same, create products the same way you always have, but who are you selling to? If your business isn’t marketing and keeping information about your business in front of your potential customers, your business is slowly dying, recession or not. Consumers have to know who you are and what you do. Forbes.com found that businesses that maintained or grew their ad spending during the recession have already increased their sales and market share. So, how do you market intelligently during a recession?
- Do a little market research on your competitors.
This is key. Are your competitors still advertising in the same markets and capacities that they were? Are they cutting their marketing budgets? If so, strike hard, now. Their loss is truly your gain. This is the time to market your business. Let consumers know that you are still very much in business, staffed and ready to serve their needs. Know which group of consumers you are marketing to. During a recession there are usually 4 types of consumers:
- Thrifty & Out of the Box – finds ways to save money on all necessities
- Thoughtful and Deliberate – watching every dime and wants to purchase quality
- Comfortable Buyers – give me a deal to make me feel good
- Right Now – Van Halen said it best, “There’s No Tomorrow.”
Know your product and your audience and set your marketing to capture your competitors incompetency’s.
- Beef up your own marketing
We’re not saying put everything you’ve got into marketing. We are saying make sure you’re marketing the right way, through the right channels for your business. Take advantage of where your competitors are missing! Know your market.
- Take them, Take them all!
While your competitors continue to tighten their wallets from loss of sales after they cut their marketing, you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Take those customers and show them just how good you are! Don’t ever let them forget the difference. Take them all!
We’ve just about got you convinced to increase your marketing objectives….so where do you start? Understanding the different levels and types of marketing will help you make a good decision.
- B2B – Marketing business to business
- B2C – Marketing business to consumer
Types of traditional marketing
- Outbound – delivering a message, such as billboards
- Personalized or Direct – catered marketing, coupons for products you regularly purchase
- Partner Marketing – a restaurant that uses a local bakery for desserts
- Telemarketing – we all hate it
- Personal Relations – or P.R. team – B2B marketing capitalizes on PR teams spinning products to meet needs.
- Word of Mouth – never goes out of style
- Stealth Marketing – product placement in movies or tv shows
- Brand Marketing – think Coke, Pepsi, Cheerios – visually, tone, voice and conceptually – long game results
- Cause Marketing – pledging a % of sales to a cause for awareness
Types of Digital Marketing
- In-Bound Marketing – Bringing customers to you using a long term sales funnel using SEO, Content and Email marketing
- Search Engine Marketing – utilizing search engines, like Google, to gather data using keywords, content, PPC advertising and posts as well as basic SEO strategy to increase rankings.
- Content Marketing – creating ebooks, blogs, articles, webinars that users need to give an email address to view – creating a way for them to market directly to you. See #2 in traditional marketing types.
- Influencer/Affiliate Marketing – sharing brand recognition or brand links within a website or social media post
- Social Media Marketing – paid ads, organic content or user generated content
- Email Marketing – we’ve all seen it
- Mobile Marketing – using push notifications and texts messages
Knowing your product, your services and your target audience and customers will allow you to implement the perfect marketing strategy for your business. Understanding the types of marketing and how to use each one for different purposes and times, is key to getting it done right.
While we are all hoping we are at the tail end of this recession, we still have a long way to go. It’s going to take time to make a full turnaround. Are you doing everything you can for your business right now? Buckle in, invest in your business, before it’s too late. You’ve got resources at your fingertips! Reach out and ask how we can help!