Back from vacation? Get reinvigorated with a few new marketing ideas that will keep the tough times at bay
Colleague Kevin Nunley is a mine of useful information. Here he suggests a number of creative ways that you can market your business in tough times (such as those that we are entering).
1) Simple Ways to Promote With Powerful Viral Marketing
No doubt you have heard of viral marketing. Just like a common cold, it involves having people pass an idea or product from one person to the next. Unlike a cold, a marketing virus is a wonderful thing to catch! Look for ways you can give your product, service, or idea a marketing virus.
These biz-tips are a simple kind of viral marketing. I write them for this newsletter, but they almost always get picked up by other editors who send them to their readers who send them to their list. You may be reading this tip years after I wrote it. Amazing, isn’t it? I write the article once, then enjoy the benefits as one person passes it to another. It’s not unusual for one million people a week to see these articles.
Give people a free service they can use. Your web address and phone number are included in every product they send to others. Free email accounts (like yahoo) and online greeting cards are great examples.
Start a joke that pertains to the news or common experiences in life. If it’s in an email, it can include your name. Jokes get passed around at an unbelievable rate. Some humour experts believe there may be as few as 7 people who come up with most of the jokes we hear. They start them on their viral tour, eventually reaching millions.
Perhaps the most effective method of viral marketing is simply being kind and helping people. Help folks for free when you can and give paying customers more than they asked for. You may be surprised at how fast customers tell their friends…and in these days of email, that can be a LOT of people.
2) Refine Your Marketing Budget for Tough Times
After a few years, most businesses establish a set formula for determining their marketing budget, usually a fixed percentage of revenue. But when economic times get tough, it’s time to make a few alterations.
The mistake businesses make is to simply cut the marketing budget when they experience a downturn in revenue. Big no, no. In an effort to protect their bottom line, they are more likely to bottom out.
Instead of cutting your marketing budget, try making a few refinements:
Concentrate on past and current customers. They are more likely to purchase from you, even during difficult economic times. Mail to them more often, call them more often and let them know about special promotions more often.
Instead of cutting your marketing budget, refine your marketing message. Customers will be thinking of how they can get more for less, so focus on the value rather than the low price. Keep your prices the same and use special promotions intermittently.
Take a closer look at who your real prospects are. Instead of mass mailing, focus on a more targeted audience. Profile your prospects and find those who have similarities to your past customers. This technique will save you money and elicit a higher response rate.
Everyone is talking about upcoming tough times. You know, it is possible to talk yourself into tough times. Likewise, you can also prevent yourself from becoming embroiled in all that hype. How? Well, focus on doing the right kind of marketing. Take ideas and apply them in different ways – just like Kevin has suggested above.
It is not about cutting back. Cutting back will ensure that tough times will come your way. It is by maintaining your presence and focus and making sure that you are “top of mind”. Don’t become the “forgotten” by pulling your messages out of the market. That way you can almost guarantee anonymity at a time that you want to be noticed – be remembered and your odds of maintaining an even keel will be dramatically enhanced.
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