February 2nd, 2010
by Pamela Sherman
Okay, it’s officially mid-winter! Just as the groundhog has to come out of his hole to see how long the winter will be (based on it’s shadow or not), so do we! The folklore and tradition of Groundhog Day was created in large part to fill our need for some kind of weather prediction, to help us anticipate and plan for days ahead. (According to today’s Groundhog Day event, the groundhog did in fact see his shadow –which means there will be six more weeks of winter.)
And, for us as business owners and marketers… the Economic Shadow is also still here!
It’s been a little over a month since the holidays, which were a bit better financially than the year prior for many; but, it’s still very challenging. There are some hopeful signs for the future, yet we are far from being out “of the woods.” Therefore, we need to act with more business and marketing savvy than ever before!
We need to do some planning (and planting) in order to have a Fruitful Future ahead…
This means we have to continue to plant seeds, nurture and leverage our resources for smarter marketing. We need to create more fruitful opportunities for success and greater revenue throughout the year.
Here are 9 Valuable Marketing Tips to Combat the Shadow of a Down-Economy:
1. Maintain & Update Your Website. Invest wisely in your website; these dollars go a long way! (especially relative to other marketing activities). Design your website to help people make effective, informed, and helpful decisions to purchase your product(s) or services. (They need to know, like, and understand you). Update with interactive components for enhancement and optimal Search Engine Optimization.
2. Use Public Relations & Be Creative. It’s a new world of opportunity for cost-effective PR! (Read David Meerman Scott’s book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR). You have more newsworthy content opportunities than you realize! — Connect with current day events, create announcements, report on special customer or company stories, etc.
3. Write Articles & Multi-Purpose Them. Create your own website Press Page. Adjust articles for journalists’ needs. Send out on-line press releases. Contact newspapers and media… build relationships. Everyone knows PR is highly effective advertising and promotion for your business.
4. Reconnect & Reinforce Relationships. Tap into your community and engage in Social Media Networking (at least be in Linkedin and Facebook).
5. Enhance Your Billing Practices and/or Policies. Develop your own “Value-Billing” systems. Be sure to provide any highlights in the billing that show the full value, time and benefits they received from your product or service.
6. Include Value-Added Services to Build Customer Enthusiasm. It’s always helpful to have some added services or benefits, beyond what’s anticipated to exceed customer expectations and create another level of customer enthusiasm.
7. Create a Helpful Communications Outreach. Find purposeful reasons to say hello –and be helpful! (newsletters, targeted programs/customized services, email, etc.).
8. Adopt a Small Charge for Educational or How-To Seminars. Consider charging a small amount for some educational seminars of value that you may have done free in the past (you’ll get a more secure attendance and will at least garner some income.)
9. Build Real Relationships. Helping people during hard times is something they don’t forget. –It’s one of those impacting and imprinting opportunities that can build long-term customer loyalty.