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  • 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:

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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.

    Article by Kevin Nunley. Kevin Nunley creates sizzling ads, sales letters, website copy, press releases, and articles. www.drnunley.com

    Marketing Tip of the Month

    The last thing you want to happen when business goes quiet is for business to grow even more quiet. By cutting your marketing totally, you’re almost certainly guaranteeing that.

    I know and understand that it is easy to simply talk about such an issue, but that it is much more difficult to make that issue live in reality.

    However, let logic reign for a moment:

      1. If you don’t keep telling people you’re in business, what’s to stop them forgetting about you? Especially if your competitors are “in their face”.
      2. If you don’t tell people that you have X product or service, how will they know?
      3. If you don’t tell people you have product/service Z as a special offer this month, how will they know?
      4. If you don’t tell people that you’re opening a new location, how will they know?
      5. If you don’t tell people you’re speaking at a seminar, how will they know?

    So where is the balance between “too much marketing” and “no marketing”? It’s in a very simple place called “Smart Marketing”.

    A store recently suffered quite badly from a shopping mall revamp. Almost overnight they lost all their “walk-in” traffic because the mall was in such disarray. Even their existing customer traffic dropped off significantly since there was a perception that “businesses on that side of the mall had closed”.

    Knowing that passing traffic was non-existent, and that attracting new walk-in customers at that time was impossible, we designed a direct mail campaign to advise existing customers that the store was still in business and to woo them back into the store. We created a loyal customer program plus a “bring a friend” promotion that stabilized the business revenue within a very short time. Amazingly, since the store now stays in touch with their customers on a regular basis, they have started to grow both revenues and customers, and the mall revamp is still not complete.

    The store is now in a fantastic position to grow dramatically when the revamp is completed. The store owner is extremely happy, as are their customers. And all because they took a bad situation, applied Smart Marketing, and turned it into an opportunity for success and growth. And their marketing expenditure actually shrank during that time.

    Don’t get caught up with the mentality of following the crowd. If you do, you’ll always be walking in the midst of that crowd, and will never be seen. Be a leader. Be creative. Have a winning philosophy. Do Smart Marketing. Your benefits will be short and long-term, and you’ll probably end up with fewer competitors, because those businesses that were “faint of heart and lacking in a belief of common sense marketing” will probably be dead and buried before you notice that they’ve gone.

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