There are three things that organizations must do in order to have an effective marketing strategy despite the economic condition.
- Be very specific about the results you are trying to obtain from any sort of marketing strategy. To say that your desired result is to “increase sales” is far too ambiguous and will certainly detract from any meaningful and effective strategy.
- Clearly determine how your product or service will significantly improve your target audience’s condition. This may seem obvious, but is surprisingly overlooked on a regular basis.
- Be very clear on who your target buyer actually is. Make sure that you know where they hang out, what they read, what they listen to.
Technology genius and web strategist Chad Barr speaks extensively on the issue of buyer identification. He recommends that in order to launch an effective marketing strategy it’s imperative that you know whether your target audience uses social media, responds to direct mail, or seeks out the services you provide through search engines.
A common misconception of many organizations both large and small is the idea that they need to invest heavily into search engine optimization, social media campaigns, direct-mail campaigns, and several other avenues not listed here. Although this may be true for certain companies many believe they have to do this simply because “everyone else” is doing this (which by the way is the result of an effective marketing strategy). If your buyers are not “there,” you shouldn’t be either.
So, how do you utilize the components listed above to execute an effective marketing strategy in a downward economy? You must first recognize that the condition of the economy has little to do with the outcome from your marketing campaign. I’m reminded of something Alan Weiss said (and I’ll paraphrase here): Money is not the issue. If the lights are on in their office, they have the money. They just don’t see the value in what you’re offering.
In a downward economy there is greater opportunity because several organizations, such as your competitors, have decided to slash marketing budgets in order to “weather the storm.” What does this mean for you? It means that you have an opportunity to attract new customers, break into new markets, and dominate in a previously crowded space. The linchpin, of course, is that you’ve followed the previously mentioned steps. It’s easy to get excited about the value this may bring for your company, but your primary focus must always be on the value you bring to dramatically improve your buyer’s condition. Always focus on value and you’ll be successful regardless of the economy.