More than at any time in our recent history, businesses are turning toward emergency strategic planning in an effort to survive today’s volatile economic climate. Traditional advertising and media plans no longer produce the results projected in the past – and nearly everyone is contemplating how to survive in this challenging economy.
We have a few ideas you might consider to help restore a sense of stability to your business marketing efforts.
> Be sure you have a solid brand strategy and positioning statement. How are you truly different? What aspects of your service or product attracts your current customers? A definitive understanding of what brand value and position is key. In times like these, when business becomes tough, businesses often start heading in too many directions – at precisely the time when marketing clarity and definition is needed.
> Make certain you’re leveraging your existing relationships. The best way to find stability and growth may well be within the customers and clients you have right this day. Focus your efforts on supporting these relationships to stabilize your current efforts, and provide them with the service and focus needed for them to refer you to others.
> Dedicate some time to defining who your best customer or client is. Think about what that relationship looks like – what size are they? What kind of demands should they have of you? What type of support or service do they need? So many of us waste time and effort on prospects that aren’t ready for your message or service. This starts with knowing what your brand truly is – and how it may be perceived by your customer or client.
> Think about ways you can collaborate with other companies and individuals who support your market without entering into competition with them directly, or indirectly. Consider combined offerings through sharing resources – and you’ll find ways to leverage what you have into a much broader range of prospects and audiences.
> Most importantly – now is the time to GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT. Do more presentation, ask for more meetings, provide more content. This isn’t the time to retract like the proverbial turtle, but rather to run faster like a rabbit. Show your expertise in a specific topic that may increase your awareness through white papers, or email communications – but don’t retract your marketing – expand it.
> Finally…. be realistic, stay focused and positive, and be sure you plan. Then plan, and plan more. Consider options to your business strategy, and clearly define what options you may have in any number of economic scenarios. Once you’ve taken the time to write them down, and establish a action plan in any conceivable circumstance – you’re prepared for the future.
This is the time when true leadership rises, and great brand are born. Be prepared for the growth ahead – for after this time of uncertainty and downturn – the potential for growth and success has never been greater.