Mar 21, 2010

Marketing in a Tough Economy I

When money is tight, a business owner’s first instinct is to cut back on marketing. After all, saving dollars is a priority, right? Maybe not. It’s important to keep your product or service in front of your customer at all times.  Otherwise you are leaving the door wide open for your competitor to swoop in. Here are a few tips to consider when times are tough:

#1) Track everything! – Tracking is ALWAYS important but never more so when every penny counts. If you are using lists or placing ads, it’s imperative to know what kind of response you are getting from every marketing dollar spent. All marketing activity can be tracked in someway (websites count hits, collateral has inventory and a distribution channel, ads have 800 numbers, etc.). I know it seems like common sense but you would be amazed at how many businesses don’t track a thing!

#2) Utilize economies of scale – Now is the time to consider making collateral (i.e. brochures, reports, postcards) with a longer shelf life. Take out time sensitive information so you can print larger quantities. You might even consider removing individuals’ names from material in the event the person is no longer with the company, rendering the pieces outdated. Printing larger quantities helps you save money as your cost per piece goes down.

#3) Move communications online – If you haven’t already done so, consider making your quarterly newsletter an email blast. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on printing four times per year, develop an interesting and creative e-newsletter to send to customers via the web. Post it on your website and let people know it’s there for their viewing whenever they like. Start building a good opt-in list and you will save significant dollars. Instead of reinventing the wheel, lots of printed material can even be used for your own blog. What other communications can you email to people or post online instead of mailing?

1 comment:

Giazz said...

I do all my marketing for my event with NO budget for a non profit organization.
These are my tips:
1) use Facebook as a marketing tool. Get a fan page and a group page. Join other groups that are similar. This is a great marketing technique that costs nothing.
2) If you have a business and it's in the New England area, you can post on http://www.whofish.org for free. You can also post events there too.
3) Write a blog, keep it updated as much as possible, and get it posted on twitter and facebook!
4) Network, network, network! Word of mouth is your best bet, but I did really like Mass Innovation Nights in Waltham, MA they take start up companies and Bobbie Carlton is fabulous when it comes to helping you promote your business
5) Do some network marketing, link exchange can do great things when it comes to raising your website on SEO
Let me know if you would like more tips!