Here are two different company’s responses to the current economic downturn.
“The second the stock market crashed all my clients stopped. I haven’t had any new clients all this week. Business is a shocker. If it keeps up I don’t know what I will do. I will have to stop my marketing as I need to cut costs”.
“The stock market crash has been the best thing for my business ever. I have so many new opportunities. People need me more than ever to help them find their business edge. I will have to tweak all of my marketing to help people feel confident again. Can we revamp the lot and get it out there yesterday?”
Similar industries. Same world issue. Totally different outlooks.
In a downturn the worst thing you can do is to reduce your marketing efforts. This tells people you are giving up and you don’t think your product or service is really worth the price you are asking for it.
If you are confident in the value you offer, the downturn can be where the seeds of prosperity and success are sown. Most of the world’s biggest companies started their success from the Depression.
So, precisely what should you be doing with your marketing during a downturn?
1. Dust off your database. Your previous clients all know your services and offerings. Make sure you go back and touch base with all previous clients (even the ones you haven’t spoken with in some time). These people are more willing to buy from you than new customers so treat them like gold and with great respect.
2. Become more personally visible. In a downturn people want more than ever to know and trust the person they will work with. Get out there, meet people and form strong business relationships with them. Don’t hide away in your office. Allow people to see the real you – you will attract a better match of clients that way.
3. Boost your credibility. This is the time to go back and get all of those testimonials you have been meaning to get. Include testimonials on your website and your marketing material to ensure people know you have a proven successful track record.
4. Revisit your guarantee. You need strong guarantees for your goods or services. In a downturn you may want to strengthen your guarantee. Instead of 30 day money back guarantee make it 90 days.
5. Show leadership & confidence. If you trust the doom and gloom merchants you will curl into a ball in a remote cave. Be out there, show your confidence in your product and the economy and show strong leadership within your industry. People value strong leaders.
6. Watch your statistics. You do need to monitor your statistics for each campaign.If a brochure, flyer or ad isn’t getting you the results you were looking for then adjust it. You still should be getting a strong return on investment for each campaign.
7. Don’t scrimp on design and printing. It’s very tempting to DIY or running your own brochures up. Professional design is just that professional! It looks great and gives you a professional brand and image. Don’t cut corners with your design and printing as this is false economy.
8. Stay positive. If you think the sky will fall it will. If you think you will be successful you will be. Find positive, empowered people and hang out with them. Don’t stay too long with naysayers as they will drag you down into their depression. This also means don’t cut your prices in a vain attempt to stay afloat. You are sending the message that you are desperate. Correctly value your goods and services.
9. Boost your communication. This is the time to increase your communication to customers not reduce it. Keep it informative, credible and up-beat. Don’t get tempted to fall into doom and gloom for your headlines or marketing messages.
10. Adjust your website. People will spend more time researching in this market before investing or buying. Make sure your website is information rich, has been optimised for search engines and is easy to navigate.
For most businesses, the downturn will be just a storm in a tea-cup. Yes, you may have the odd spilt drop of tea, but as a whole there is no reason your business can’t survive and thrive no matter the economy.
In the words of Warren Buffet “be brave when people are fearful and afraid when people are brave”, that is the secret to business success.