"Marketing in a Tough Economy - Do's & Dont's"
By Arun Agrawal
Many businesses are facing new realities in the changed economic scenario- specially the small business.
Everyday you must be facing these problems-
- Sorry the budget has been cut down this year.
- Sorry the higher management has ordered to hold all new purchases.
- Sorry, this project has been postponed.
- Sorry, we want to buy only from reputed vendors.
Smaller business owners are at their wit's end. How do you retain your sales volume and margins? Here are some Do's and Dont's for you to survive these times as a small business.
- You have to totally focus on Direct Marketing - offers and marketing where you can directly measure the Return on Investment (ROI).
- Stay in constant touch with your existing customers. Retaining the existing customers and getting repeat business from them should be your highest priority.
- Be consistent with your advertising. If you are not regular in your advertising, the customer will not have top-of-mind recall for you and place the order to someone else when they do have the budget finally.
- Find out ways to get more referral business. As the referral helps you to close the new sale very easily, you should do everything in your power to reward the customer who provided the reference.
- Do these three things. Test, test and test. You must absolutely positively test each and every promotion and see which ones are producing better results. Then replace the weaker ones and again test, test and test.
- Don't spend your money on general brand building ads. You just can't afford the luxury during an economic slowdown. In fact a small business can never afford to waste money on brand building advertising that does not produce direct and quick response.
- Don't ignore your existing customers. New customer acquisition is considered 7 times more expensive than retaining your current customer. Don't let this investment go waste.