The title of this post, SMART small business marketing strategies – because you may have heard a report or two on the news about the horrible economic conditions that are currently besieging the US economy. As a result, you may be tempted to make a “not so smart” decision about your small business marketing strategy!
Perception is such a CRUCIAL part of the business decision making process. Unfortunately, even though you may not have PERSONALLY experienced the effects of a tightening economy, you may be tempted to reign in your advertising and marketing expenditures – “just in case”. Not only might you be tempted to adopt this attitude, your CUSTOMERS may have adopted this attitude as well.
I’ll NEVER forget a conversation I had with a client many years ago -during a previous “economic downturn”. The day before our monthly meeting, my client had attended a networking function where EVERYONE was “bemoaning” how “terrible” business was for them. (Of course, few of them were actively measuring their advertising effectiveness.) My client joined in the bitch session like a good little networking master.
We met the following day and I was greeted with a glum, “I’m sorry – but I’m going to have to cut my advertising budget because of the bad economic conditions.” I didn’t know what had happened in the past month at the time and I was shocked. After all, the last I knew, sales were up because of our efforts.
Instead of accepting her decision, I challenged my client. I asked her to pull out her books and check this year’s sales against last year’s sales. She did and was STUNNED by what she saw. Her sales in that month were running a full 20% AHEAD of the previous year.
Yes, that’s right. My client’s perception was critically altered thanks to the networking event. She accepted their fate as her own and instead of rejoicing about a 20% increase in sales, she was ready to cut her lifeline to the very key to keeping her business healthy and growing.
It was almost as if she were TRYING to create a self fulfilling prophecy of poor sales for her business.
The best small business marketing strategy is to not blindly cut your advertising and marketing because of what you THINK is going on inside other people’s businesses!
Online Marketing Connect in Small Business Marketing Fumbles AND Recovery Strategies! writes:
The economy is dragging you down and as a result you and the entire marketing team are frightened by customers who are holding the line on spending.
RECOVERY: Your entire team has taken their collective eyes off the ball. Staying focused on the positive keeps you all alert and looking for opportunities that are out there. Negativity just attracts more fear and the distractions snowball into continuing failure. Train yourself to benefit from slow times by using the time to positively affect your success. Implementing the previous nine recovery strategies will keep your team in focus and heading straight for your goals.
Small Business Newz in Value Emphasis a Key to Marketing Heading into 2009
But no matter where your marketing dollars are going, your marketing message is perhaps the most important element to the campaign. Your efforts will be ignored if you cannot convince your customers that your business is the one they should turn to for what they are looking for. Be clear. Show them where the value is. Show them why you’re better than the competitor.
If your marketing and advertising aren’t working – now is the time to create a solid marketing strategy for your small business. If money is tight, pick up a copy of my book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results. The book walks you through step by step how advertising works. It’s the best investment you can make and will help walk you through creating a smart small business marketing strategy that will help your business grow no matter WHAT the news says about the economy!