Market your business out of the recession
So they say, it’s official, we’re in a double dip! Back in recession. And it won’t stop raining. It’s enough to make us all emigrate isn’t it? If you are running or managing a business, we know it’s tough out there. It has been for a couple of years now. We’ve got clients who are really struggling, and there’s plenty of businesses that we knew, that are no longer trading.
That said, there are also many businesses who are doing really well. And not just surviving the recession but growing. What’s their secret? Well some will be taking advantage of an opportunity. Maybe their products and services are needed at this time, maybe their products and services help business reduce costs or work more efficiently? That said, the other common denominator is that these business are very active, particularly with marketing. They haven’t cut back to save money, they’re investing in their business and future growth.
But it’s not about spending more money, it’s about spending our marketing budget wisely. We all market our businesses in some way, but are we marketing to the right customers or using the right marketing methods to reach our customers effectively? And what are we saying? What our customers want today might be very different to what they wanted 3 months ago or a year ago.
Is this you?
- You are really busy and don’t have time to do any marketing at all.
- You are really quiet and are now panicking where your next business is going to come from so you’ll try anything once.
- You get a call from someone with such a tempting offer, it’s half the normal price and any advertising is good advertising, right?
- We need to cut down our spending so we won’t be doing any marketing for a few months. It never seems to work anyway so I don’t think we’ll notice a difference.
- To save costs this year we’re going to design and print our own leaflets. They don’t look as good as the professional ones we have had done in the past but most of them probably end up in the bin anyway.
- I always get my business by word of mouth.
- I’ve sent out 5000 leaflets and only had one enquiry.
- I’ve had a new website but it’s not bringing me any more business?
The list could go on. The truth is, marketing is a process. It has a beginning; it has a middle, but never an end. It isn’t something you pick up and drop when you get busy. It should be planned, relevant and targeted activity all throughout the year, and especially during a recession.
The more relevant, targeted and integrated your marketing activity is, the better results you will get. But there is no doubt that marketing does work but you have to keep working at it and looking at your market to see that what you are doing is still relevant and engaging.
Top tips for marketing yourself out of a recession:
Keep in touch with your existing customers
If you don’t communicate with your existing customers you can be sure there are competitors out there who will! But we often forget them. Email marketing is a really cost effective, drip, drip method of keeping in touch. It reminds them that you are there and can give you instant feedback of what they find interesting. Social media is also good for this too, but find out if your customers are using Twitter or Facebook first. If there are customers you haven’t heard from in a while, pick up the phone, and find out how they are and what’s happening in their business. Arrange to go and see them, even if it’s just for a coffee.
Get your website working for your business
Look at your website. Does it portray your business correctly and tell your customers and potential customers what you do in 3 seconds? Monitor traffic to your website with free tools like Google Analytics, you’ll find the stats really interesting. If you find that you are getting lots of hits but then people are leaving quickly, the content isn’t right. If you aren’t getting the visitors then you need to work on web promotion through search engine optimisation or pay per click advertising. Even if you don’t want to sell your products and services with an ecommerce site, your website can bring business to your door, it just needs to have right message and the right promotion.
Get your message right
You could have the best products and services in town but if you are not promoting them, how will potential customers find out? But remember customers want to know what you are going to do for them, not about your products and services. So be clear, keep it simple and think how you can help them. Make sure this is clear on your website, on your emails, on your leaflets…however you communicate with your clients. Be consistent.
First impressions do count
Never underestimate the image of your company. If you are selling a quality product and service but your branding, leaflets and website look cheap you can damage your business. Visual impact is so important in our busy world because we are bombarded with messages. How your business stands out from the crowd to reach your customers is vital. Get it right first time but if it’s not working don’t be afraid to change it. It could be a simple change but the results could be dramatic.
In a recession things change dramatically. Look at the type of customers who are still spending with you and target more of the same. But make your campaign very targeted. Don’t try and communicate with everyone. Think of a small group of customers and what they need to know. A targeted direct mail campaign, followed up with phone call can have stunning results if you have done your homework and can show them how you can help them. You might only send out 20-30 out at a time but it really can work.
Be a turtle
It’s my campaign for the year. Running a business can be scary and sometimes you have to stick your neck out. You have to invest when people are cutting back. Turtles progress when they stick their neck out! So can you and your business. But get the best advice and the best support. It might cost you a little bit more but it is worth it in the long run.
If you haven’t got the time or you have simply run out of ideas, give Fig Creative a call. We can help market your business and deliver targeted campaigns that will really show a return on investment. Ask about our marketing packages or come on the next marketing for business free event. Find out more here
Call us now on 01457 857111 or Send us an email