Monday, October 13, 2008

5 Don'ts for Marketing in Tough Times

Last time we were together, I shared with you that I would share insights from industry experts on what not to do with your marketing in tough times.

No doubt we still have some troubled waters to navigate but the good news is gas prices have taken a southerly dive and as I write this, the Dow and other global markets are seeing a rebound from last week's sell off.

Remember fear feeds fear. Panic feeds panic. And there was a lot of panic and fear in the market last week.

Now as promised here are 5 Don'ts for Marketing in Tough Times from "Businessweek" contributor Steve McKee:

(1) Be smart and thrifty, but don't panic. This too shall pass. " may have to make some cuts. Just be careful to trim fat and avoid cutting muscle as much as possible."

(2) Marketing is muscle, not fat. Be careful about cutting it. "... the savvieest marketers know recessions are a great time to pick up market share ... Cutting your marketing spending is a sure way to give ground to competitors who may be more aggressive during the downturn."

(3) Don't lose focus by chasing business you wouldn't normally want. "There's a reason you don't pursue certain types of customers when times are good, and that reason probably hasn't changed."

(4) Don't discount. "If you need to make your products more affordable (to generate volume, goodwill, or both), do so carefully and deliberately. But lower the price instead of offering a discount.

(5) Don't neglect the elephant in the room. "Even if your company's revenues have held up, your employees know there's trouble afoot and they're nervous. Make sure they know you're on top of things and have a plan ... As the market tightens up, the best positioned players will survive and thrive."

Mckee offers some good advice here.

I have a number of clients employing these principles and here are their results.

There's a granite countertop company that sent me an e mail the other day that said ... "I think the sky may be falling, but we are seeing a good response to the ads."

There's a roofing company that's advertising with me right now. Last week I received an e mail from a listener who writes, "You had a commericial on earlier today for a roofing company. I'm trying to remember who they were. I think it was Buller or Boulder Roofing, but didn't have any luck googling those names. Can you please let me know who it was? Thank you for your help. Love your station too."

These are just two examples of business still being done even in the midst of this supposed economic storm.

There are nearly 420,000 people listening to the Fish each week. Surely with a good enough reason, we could get enough people to do business with you.

If you'd like to find out more, contact me and we can see if it makes sense to develop a results-producing plan for you.

Also, feel free to comment on these blog posts below. Tell others what's working and what's not. That way we can all share and grow.

Good selling. Mike

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