Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Recession Proof Marketing

Despite the gloom and doom economic message we’re bombarded with daily, now is not the time to slow down or to stop spending on marketing your business. In fact, now may be the best time to ramp up your marketing efforts!

20 recessions have been recorded in the last 100 years. Ten of those have occurred since World War II. Independent studies of businesses during and after recessions show that those who marketed aggressively throughout a recession fared much better than those who had cut back on their marketing efforts.

Neither the b2b or consumer market stops buying during a recession. However, they will become more selective as they look for goods and services with the most value. In fact, during a recession, the pressure to do more with less causes businesses and consumers to shop more aggressively.

Focus on Value

For the sake of this article, I’m assuming you already offer a valuable product or service. But are you effectively communicating that value to your customer base? Have you determined the answer to the question, “why should anyone do business with me?”

How’s Your Visibility?

Are you sharing your unique story on a web site, in a newsletter, through press releases and through your day-to-day interaction with people? These are all important to local search marketing.

A web site can no longer be considered an optional marketing expense. The majority of business decision-makers and consumers look first to the Web to learn about new products and companies. If that’s where your customers are looking, will they find you?

Do you offer a newsletter, either online, a print version or both? At this point my blogs take the place of an online newsletter, but I’ll soon be offering a print version. Why reach out through the mail instead of just focusing online? Because research shows that it’s an effective way to reach another segment of my target audience. Where are the best places to reach your target audience?

The stand-alone press release, created by a small business and emailed and faxed to the media is usually a waste of time and money. A well-thought out idea, discussed with an editor or reporter, with the press release provided as a supporting document is another deal altogether. In addition, there are online press release submission outlets, some ad-supported, but free to use, and other high quality outlets that only accept submissions with payment. If you’ve provided information about your site and links back to your site, you’ll reap visitors to your site in addition to general awareness about your business.

Day-to-day interaction with people is important because none of us live in a vacuum. For example: I tell my friends and associates about the Hair Connection, a really great local hair salon. I’ve written a review for them on one of the many local review sites, where other people can see that I’m very happy with their services. Eventually some of these people check out the Hair Connection web site, where they can learn more about services, prices, and how to find them. Once on the site, people watch their short video, subscribe to their newsletter and learn about monthly specials. And then they tell their local friends and the cycle starts again. It’s all part of local search at a very common sense level.

For more common sense small business marketing tips, I hope you’ll also check out my Express Marketing Memo blog.

Related Articles:

How to reach business decision makers

What is local search?

What does 2008 have in store for local?

Do you need a blog?

Marketing in a Recession

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Talk back to me! Are you cutting back or ramping up your marketing efforts this year?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Local Opportunities for Wisconsin Businesses

Online local visibility has never been more important to small and mid-sized businesses in Wisconsin. Without an online presence, you're leaving a crucial piece of your marketing undeveloped ... and that's costing you business.

If you own or manage a Wisconsin-based business that depends on drawing local customers to your door, this blog is for you. We'll discuss online strategies to draw local traffic to your business. And not just strategies ... we'll dive in and I'll show you precisely what steps to take. I'll provide resources and links to the information you need to actively promote your business locally online.

As you can see, this blog is just getting started. Thanks for stopping by! You can be notified of new posts by subscribing to my feed.