In difficult financial times, running a successful service firm and business requires more than hard work and experdite talent. When sales drop and the economy tightens, response may be to pull advertising and cancel marketing campaigns, but in the words of Steve Babaeko “That is like shutting off the fuel to an airplane in mid-flight.”
More often than not in an african context marketing is often stereotypically viewed as an expense that can be cut. This is a dangerous mindset that needs shifting. Marketing is an investment in your clients and business. Careful evaluation of your investments and periodic rebalancing of your initiatives must happen. Choosing activities that are cost efficient and effective will prove that marketing is an essential component of any business in any financial climate.
Research has shown that companies that market through a recession stand to gain tremendously over competitors that cut back. Rather than decreasing marketing in tough times, agencies, clients or enterpreneurs need to invest more time and money in retaining clients and wooing new ones Many bussiness-owner overspend on nonfocused marketing and underspend in customer retention. In a buoyant economy where there’s more liquid cash to go around there is absolutely no problem, but when things get tough, you as the owner of a business, may need to brace up so that the cheques can drop.
Launching low budget marketing and /or online campaign strategies can help you generate new leads and turn profits in a sluggish econonomy.
Below are five proven tips that would work for any start up or high end brand agent.
First-off IDENTIFY and ANALYZE grey areas with simple research and data of how your company had fared in the past, what interested some clients to stay, what put others off that made them go, what where the prevailing circumstances that made your creativity, execution and product/service delivery peak at that period, how income and expenditure were carried out by your company, then develop a marketing plan to plug and buffer these situations either formally (i.e. ATL-Above the line advertising or informally BTL-Below the line adverting).
Improved efficiency and streamlined budgeting sit at the top of this list.
2. A BIRD IN HAND…
There is a general notion that just because our client wrote us a cheque once, they will remember us for life. The reality is that they don’t remember the name of your company when your taillights are out of sight.”
Pay attention to your existing customers. If you’re too wrapped up in getting new customers, you may forget about retaining your existing ones. The cost to acquire a customer is generally six times more than the cost to keep a client
3. GO LEAN:
Invest in an inexpensive mailer systems. Postcards, Enewsletters, embedded bulk sms on your website. These contents can be as simple as reminders on popular public holidays, health and safety tips, D.I.Y techniques and/or trending community events. Mails can be seasonal and appropriately spaced out so it doesn’t appear as a spam to your clients or customers. Postcards, if applicable in your area can be sent to customers at least 2-3 times a year, but preferably once in two months.
4.WORD OF MOUTH:
Apparently, this usually underestimated marketing plan dates back to as early as Jesus Christ was born. Build and sustain meaningful relationships at all times. Ultimately, when all other factors are similar, people buy products and services from people they like and trust. Maintain relationships and develop new points of contact through sustained networking. Staying top of mind to a potential customer is the key to positive word of mouth.
5. OUTSOURCE MORE AND KEEP ADVERTISING:
Workload doesn’t necessarily diminish in a difficult economy. Internal resources may be scarce, particularly if your organization has downsized its workforce. An alternative to hiring full time marketing staff is to hire experienced professionals on a contract basis to complete projects as they appear. Activities that are easily outsourced include writing and copyediting, web site strategy, research, media planning, graphic design, mobile private vendors and other resource-intense activities. By contracting with professional freelancers, you can limit your spending and take advantage of the experience and efficiency of someone who focuses in these types of initiatives. When the project is completed, you no longer carry the burden of their overhead and salary.
Marketing your business takes a consistent effort over a prolonged period of time. Periodically stopping and starting your marketing practices will always hurt your business. Lost time and effort will directly affect your long-term success. Keeping visible customers, understanding target audiences and building/maintaining loyal relationships with customers and contacts are just a few of the essential components of a successful marketing plan. Aligning your business goals and sticking with your marketing plans will pay off in the long run, regardless of the economic climate.
We hope we have been able to impact a little knowledge most especially to start-ups and budding entrepreneurs. If you are excited about this write up and you wish us to write about another topic that interests or intrigues you please drop us a comment below and we would be glad to.
Compiled by: Jimmy Adesanya
Posted by: thebrandradioblog