A few quick thoughts for those of you still looking for the silver lining in the cloud of gloom that surrounds us …
- Find your core customerÂ – This is trickier that it sounds because your core customers may not be the biggest spenders.Â They are the people who attract others to your business, who are the “acid test” for your brand and who represent your brand in the minds of other customers.
- Become a direct marketer – Test everything before you commit large dollars.Â Instead of running a huge promotion, try it on a small group of customers and see how it does.Â Send out an e-mail to 1,000 prospects before you reach out to 100,000.
- Add value instead of cutting price – If your price is grossly unrealistic, lower it.Â But first consider bundling in extra value at current prices.Â Add samples, extra services or custom consultations.Â You’ll increase the value of your offerings but help maintain your price points, which are harder to raise than cut.
- Narrow your brand positioning – A recession is a tempting time to try to be all things to all people just to maintain revenue.Â But people are drawn to expertise more than ever in a recession and nothing shows expertise better than a narrow focus.Â Even if you don’t cut products or services, make sure your communications focus on your core expertise.
- Look for opportunities – Save marketing dollars to spend opportunistically.Â Large competitors in particular tend to make marketing cuts in big chunks and implement them very quickly.Â This can leave bargains in media or even PR.Â Watch your competitors closely to find the best moment to spend instead of pre-planning all of your expenditures.Â If your business is seasonal, save extra money to capitalize on unexpected media or PR opportunities during your high season.