Marketing Through An Economic Downturn

A recession hits everyone but it can be particularly hard on growing businesses. Yet economic downturns can actually be an opportunity for smaller companies to get ahead and come out stronger on the other side. According to the market research firm PIMS, businesses that invest in marketing during a recession typically see a return on investment of more than 4 percent in the short term, as well as gaining market share three times faster in the two years following a recession.

The following are just some of the ways growing businesses can make the most of the tough times ahead by smart use of direct marketing.

Refresh your marketing materials

Revamping brochures, pamphlets and flyers can be done to strengthen your brand image. Your promotional literature is one of the main sources of communicating your brand image, core values, objectives and a description of your products and services. The way in which you present it all can make or break your business.

Ensure your website is up-to-date and easy to find

As more and more people move online, it’s vital you don’t get left behind and miss out. Ensure you have a web presence by setting up a website. It’s important to keep your branding consistent both off and online. Make sure the information is relevant and your contact details are up to date. Once your site is up and running, make sure your potential customers can find you by implementing a Search Engine Optimization program and then tracking your visitors.

Email effectively

Email marketing is an affordable method of reaching out to potential customers, allowing them to respond immediately. You can send out emails to various mail groups using your in-house address book or database. Or a larger scale and perhaps more efficient option is using an outside email marketing company to obtain a targeted list – but whichever you choose, ensure that you are able to measure the emails’ effect on sales.

Stay in front of your customers

Send out a monthly newsletter to your existing customers to make sure they think of you first when they need a product or service that you provide. Fill your newsletter with helpful, educational content. Don’t create a four-page ad and call it a newsletter. Instead, think about what kind of information your customers will find extremely valuable. What can you impart that will help your customers increase their profits and grow their businesses? If the content of your newsletter is valuable enough, you can offer free subscriptions on your web site as a way to build your database.

Get your opinion out there

Consider contributing to industry blogs and social media sites. This will put you in front of your prospects and present you as a knowledgeable expert in the field.

Joining online networking sites such as LinkedIn, Ning, or Collective X, and adding your company’s details to free online directories is a simple way of increasing your business’s visibility with the only cost to you being the minimal time it takes to input the information.

Get your face out there

As effective as all of the above are, there is nothing like good old fashioned face to face contact. Attend networking events to meet new contacts and arrange customer meetings to discuss how to serve them better.

This year will be hard, but companies who invest wisely in selected marketing initiatives will bolster their position and enable them to emerge stronger and brighter in the future.

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