Marketing your business and building your brand is extremely important in any economic environment for a small business to ultimately succeed. The recent poor economic conditions around the world have dramatically impacted everyone’s business, while at the same time creating great opportunities for those who have continued to market their business. Studies have shown again and again that continuing to market your business in all types of economic environments is crucial for long term success.
History has shown the importance of marketing in both down and up economies. Take Sears a well known retailer that has prospered in the past by aggressively marketing in poor economies. Montgomery Ward was once the leading retailer that dramatically pulled their marketing back during WWII. Sears on the other hand increased their marketing and overtook Ward as the leading retailer. Almost 40 years later Sears ended up acquiring the bankrupt Ward.
History has shown us that most businesses dramatically reduce marketing during economic downturns. Businesses become fearful cutting back advertising and crucial employees. Cutting back during a poor economy or an economy that is recovering is absolutely the worst thing to do for a business that looks to be the leader. Studies have shown that businesses that maintained or increased their marketing spend during poor economies experienced over 200% or more in sales revenue than the companies that decreased spend.
The following are 5 suggestions to succeed in any economic environment:
- Add Value & build relationships! Unlike big box retailers or larger service companies you as a small business owner have the upper hand. Larger companies are slow to react. As a small business owner you have the ability to connect with your customers and prospects by connecting with your community. Add local news & stories to any advertising to build the connection.
- Stay in front of customers! Email, call or visit existing customers as much as possible. Remember to look at what your cost is to attract a new customer and remember that it’s much easier to keep your existing customers than attract new ones.
- Reward your loyal Customers! Acknowledge customers in all types of economic conditions. Discount or gift to say thank you really creates stronger loyalty and builds long term relationships. Referrals also really increase because of this.
- Categorize your Customer Base! Look at your current typical customers and learn what commonality they have. Try to focus current advertising on that demographic or typical customer to increase your opportunity for success.
- Create & Maintain an Acquisition Strategy Model! Develop a process that prospects go through from the confirmation for an appointment, follow up phone call after appointment, follow up letter or postcard and whatever else you find helpful for you business. Regardless of the model keep it consistent and make sure to follow in both up and down markets.
These 5 suggested marketing tips are relatively simple to implement in any business model and will have great results on long term revenue. Remember that again companies that aggressively continued to maintain their marketing strategy in slower economies experienced much larger sales growth in better times. These 5 tips did not all require money to be spent and are powerful in all economic situations.