Concern over the economy is the number one concern of businesses. Fear of the future and uncertainty about what will happen next is the rule of the day. For many businesses survival itself is at stake. From hiring freezes to layoffs, businesses are cutting back on all unnecessary expense. For many this means cutting back on marketing and publicity efforts. These are viewed as frivolous expenses during a downturn, yet nothing could be further from the truth. It is during the worse of the downturn that you need a cost-efficient marketing and publicity plan in place for a twofold approach – to weather the tough times and benefit early from the recovery when it begins.
Client retention is the rule of the day for most businesses during this economic downturn. Yet this crisis is also an opportunity for businesses. Customers are shopping around for the best deals, the best service, the best quality, and the best products. This is a time to maximize what you have to offer especially if your competitors aren’t doing so. Chances are most of your competitors are not actively marketing and promoting themselves. This means if you are, potential clients who are seeking what you have to offer will go to you rather than to the competition.
How can this be done without massive expenses? It can be done simply without massive expenses. Do press releases on your products or services and post them on free websites that are available. The media often searches these websites for news leads. Additionally potential clients utilizing the search engines will type in key words and with these press releases your products and company will come to the fore. Use social networking websites like MySpace, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Social networking is becoming the new way for businesses to network. Next if a story is in the news that you have expert opinion on, contact your local reporters and offer commentary to assist them with their stories. For example, if you are an accountant offer tax tips that a reporter can use for a story crediting you and your firm of course in the article or news story. This will often lead to becoming an expert source for the media in your field. Consumers respond to this type of placement far stronger than any advertising because it conveys a media endorsement.
Give speeches at local Rotary Clubs, the Chamber of Commerce, and industry trade shows. The key is keeping your name out in a positive way so that while your competition is nowhere to be seen, clients and consumers who are searching will find you.
Finally, as in all recessions, there will be a recovery. It may at this point seem far off in the future but it will occur. By having your name out constantly during the worst of times, you will be positioned well in advance when customers begin seeking out your services and products. Indeed you will be ahead of the curve because you will have an ongoing and existing marketing and publicity program as your competitors are just gearing up their marketing will allow you a six to eight month advantage. Remember whatever else you do during this recession market like your survival depends on it.
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