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Ten Tips for Recession Marketing and Sales
» Thriving rather than Surviving

1. Be dominant - Position Yourself to be a Market Leader

  • Are you content to follow the herd? Step outside of your comfort zone and dare to lead rather than to follow. Set yourself apart from the competition by developing your own Value Proposition. Prospective customers MUST have a good reason to do business with you rather than your competition. Your Value Proposition answers the question “Why should I buy from you?”

    It could be your superior customer service, your lifetime refund policy, best prices or the outstanding quality of your products. You have absolutely no reason to worry about the economic slowdown or competition once your customers 'experience' your Value Proposition. Differentiate your firm in the market and you can use your Value Proposition to handily eliminate your competitors.

2. Assess or Audit your Marketing & Sales

  • The best way to review, evaluate, and improve the marketing function is to undertake a marketing audit – an independent systematic and comprehensive review of your marketing and sales efforts.
  • The goal of the marketing audit is to assess the effectiveness of a company's marketing function and process, and provide recommendations for improvement.

3. Reevaluate your product and service offerings

  • In a down economy, it seems like everyone's concerned only with price. In all likelihood, their real concern is value – your need to differentiate your firm and products or services in the market place.
  • Look for ways you can repackage existing products or services in ways that can provide more value. Or, develop a product or service line that can accommodate smaller clients or customers with reduced budgets. Adapt a product or service for a new market.

4. Embrace your database

  • Your current database probably houses former customers and prospects, as well as current customers and suppliers. Now's the time to go after them. Reactivate dormant accounts and leads with new products, promotions and services.
  • Also, contact current customers for referrals. Give them ideas they can use to help their business in the current economy, and they'll be happy to pass you on to others who could benefit from your knowledge.

5. Measure your MROI (Marketing Return on Investment)

  • The problem with many marketing efforts is the inability of management to ascertain what really works, and why. That's why smart marketers always measure outcomes so they know exactly where to invest for the greatest return.
  • The more you test and measure, the more relevant data you'll get. And the more data you get - and analyze - the smarter, more effective, your marketing will get.
    Nine Tips for Recession Marketing and Sales –cont.
    Thriving rather than Surviving

6. Cost Controls

  • Controlling cost does not mean cutting cost. It means being smarter with the budget you do have, and wringing greater value from every dollar you invest in your marketing program. Closely related to MROI, controlling costs allows you to invest your money where it drives the greatest revenue. Do not fall into the habit of doing something "because you always have."

7. Launch a targeted, integrated new-business campaign

  • Now is a great time to launch a customer acquisition campaign. Strategically, set specific goals, tight costs controls and strive to sell product and build brand. Target your best customer profile, and speak directly to them with your message.
  • Develop an integrated campaign across different media, with a focus on results-driven on and offline direct-marketing techniques, as well as low or no cost PR strategies such as speeches, articles in trade publications, and the like.

8. Reevaluate your marketing service relationships

  •  Are you totally satisfied with your current Advertising and PR agencies? What about strategic marketing counsel? There are lots of smart practitioners out there, and many may be able to give you greater insight, higher levels of service, and greater value for your investment.
  • Choosing the right partner is an investment that is critically important to your organization. Not only is the expertise itself expensive, but the cost of investing your limited resources in the wrong areas can be catastrophic.

9. Enhance customer service

  • Do you provide "bullet proof" customer service? The cost of getting new customers is much higher than getting more business from existing customers.
  • To really grasp what your customers are worth, figure their “lifetime value ". Each customer you lose is taking that money out of your pocket over time. Try never to lose a current customer; in a downturn, the replacement cost is even greater.

10. Increase customer insight

  • The more you know about your customers, the more accurately you can target market your products and services to address their specific needs.
  • To do this, marketing executives need to get down in the trenches. Engage in direct contact with customers through phone surveys, visit customers, or ride along on sales calls. Conduct surveys, and promotions aimed at gathering opinions.

About the Author:  Ken Wilson: Strategist, marketing guru, educator, facilitator, author, university lecturer and consultant, he can be reached at ken@wmg-mn.com  or 763-476-2216

Copyright ©2017 by Ken Wilson All rights reserved.

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