With signs that the economy may be slowly beginning to pick up, now is the time to start thinking about how best to prepare your business for when the country emerges from these challenging times. You may well have put those plans for a new website or set of marketing collateral on hold, but dedicating some time to your marketing now, will put you in a more favourable position longer term.
It is likely that people are still going to be hesitant in purchasing goods and services, and this isn’t going to change overnight. The key will be to focus on reassuring potential customers that they can feel safe in choosing your business. You may also need to work harder at preventing customers from moving to the competition as people are now more open to switching brands to get the best deal. A strong brand with clearly defined and communicated brand values is the best possible way to generate confidence and create a positive affiliation with your business.
Communicating with your customers regularly can help to encourage loyalty and keep you front of mind. A well designed and thought out email newsletter is a powerful way of reaching out to customers and potential customers to tell them what you have to offer. In this climate it will however, be vital to adapt your offering to the changing market and therefore changing needs of your customers. Keeping up your PR efforts will also provide you with a cost effective way to make sure your messages reach a wide audience and help you maintain your visibility.
Marketing is all about finding a way to differentiate your product/service from the competition. People are going to need more compelling reasons to spend, so being innovative in your marketing will make you stand out from the crowd.
The growth of the internet has already opened up a wealth of new opportunities for marketers. Less costly than traditional media and highly measurable, it guarantees a good return on investment. A targeted online advertising campaign will enable you to reach your audience and gain accurate results which can be monitored regularly. Great creative is a must – it’s all about getting the right design, the right copy and the right message to the right people.
Lastly it could be the ideal time to freshen things up and reassess your website and marketing collateral. Are they performing as well as they could be?
Even in a downturn, it is never wise for businesses to neglect marketing altogether and the most important thing you can do is think carefully about how best to spend what marketing budget you do have. This will help you emerge much stronger and ahead of your competitors when things do recover. And as Bill Gates famously said, if he was down to his last dollar he would spend it on marketing.