This is exactly the time that you should be ramping UP your marketing efforts…create your superior access vehicles, deliver your attraction marketing devices, purchase appealing promotional products, network more, and everything else you can think of to enhance your image and credibility and make your competition irrelevant.
While working for two major marketing and management consultants, Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes, I would speak with business owner’s day in and day out. As I interviewed them to try and understand them and their challenges better; a common theme came to light. The overwhelming majority of them told me that their phones have just stopped ringing. That they were seeing cutbacks from their top customers and new business had come to a virtual halt. A very complex and disheartening situation indeed.
As I dug a bit deeper with them, a very interesting conundrum was common with most of them. They told me that they had cut, if not totally ceased their marketing efforts. They pulled out of yellow pages; cut back, or totally cut altogether, their sales force; stopped direct mail efforts; quit associations they had previously been members of; etc. And didn’t even replace these efforts with other free ways to advertise themselves such as Manta.com or claim their business on Google Maps.
Somehow they believe that them doing everything from estimates, to managing people and work teams, to creating brochures or other marketing tools, to being the accounts receivable person, and the HR manager is saving them money. It’s NOT….it’s costing them money, and a lot of it. They have fallen into the trap of working IN their business, rather than ON it.
They blame the need for retrenching on the administration, the economy, their marketplace, their competitors, their employees, the cyclical nature of their business, the alignment of the planets; frankly, just about anything they could think of, rather than placing the blame squarely where it belongs: On their shoulders!!
The scary thing is that they don’t even recognize the correlation between their cutbacks to their marketing efforts and the corresponding negative trends of their business. They feel that they just couldn’t afford to do marketing anymore and had these other reasons which they could pass the blame on to.
I propose to you that just the opposite is required in this market. The smart businesses are indeed increasing their marketing efforts and gaining in market share in their marketplace.
This is exactly the time to INCREASE YOUR MARKETING!! Businesses are going out of business in record numbers and you have a choice to join that trend and go out of business, or to see this time in our history as one of the most incredible opportunities to expand and grow.
An extremely interesting statistic I ran into while working for Tony and Chet was that a 2009 study found more than half of the companies on the 2009 Fortune 500 list were launched during a recession or bear market. This study was sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation.
If you are in Real Estate, or Mortgages, or a Lawyer, or a Contractor, and the list goes on and on, be like the Borg from Star Trek and “assimilate” your competition. Consider buying them out, merging with them, or just waiting for them to go under and grab their key employees.
But at the same time you should be increasing your own marketing efforts to become the top player in your field and gain Top of Mind Awareness.
Stop the blame game and get creative. Partner with other local businesses to do events; expand your geographic footprint; get better at holding on to your valued business and expanding your existing clients; hire sales people or even outsource your sales team efforts; create events and get them paid for by others; blog regularly; network actively online and offline; and in every way you can think of, increase your marketing efforts.
Although many of these techniques are actually FREE, you should also spend money now to take as much market share as possible. When the economy does take a turn for the better you will be well positioned to see your business absolutely take off.
Put a pen in every business persons hand in your area; a magnet on every refrigerator; a calendar on every desk or wall. Give away shirts or hats with your name on it. Sponsor meetings or better yet, get others to sponsor your meetings…
Follow these strategies and I’ll watch for you on the Fortune 500!!!!
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