Recession, or no recession? I’m no economist, but even the experts can’t decide if we’re in one, beginning one, ending one, or if the economy’s just a little slow.
The R-word strikes fear and anxiety in the heart of everyone – doesn’t matter if you’re CEO of a major corporation or self-employed entrepreneur. In a blog post titled “How to Market in a Recession,” John Quelch, marketing expert and Harvard Business School professor, writes about different marketing techniques to use during a recession.
But this is a hot topic, and it seems that a lot of bloggers have joined the marketing-recession dialogue. After surveying some various internet resources, here are my four top online marketing tips. Best of all, they’re free.
1. Focus on Content
This comes from Ian Lurie’s Conversation Marketing blog. So if you want to maximize your customer base, go over your content. Look at your website, pay per click ads, and even your marketing materials that aren’t web-based. Ian Lurie says that each page should be a “perfect sales letter.” Now, all writers know that perfection in prose rarely happens. So don’t be afraid: edit, re-write, change up your wording, pay closer attention to branding on your site – constant improvement and constant updates will get your higher up in search engine rankings and better conversion rates.
2. Use Time, Not Money
The genius thing about web 2.0 and social media marketing is that they’re free for anyone to use. But they do consume a lot of time. If you’re a small business owner with more time than money, start looking at how you can tackle these two beasts.
The easiest way to do this is to start blogging. Blog about your business, industry news, whatever (see our previous post about blogging). From there, you can move on to the more serious social marketing sites, like marketing via Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter profiles, or getting your blog readers to Digg/Reddit/Stumble your blog articles.
3. Know your customers — Track Results
Know who your customers are – and where they’re coming from. How is your cold-calling campaign holding up to your pay per click campaign? If you haven’t already, you need to research, quantify, and get some real numbers about which marketing techniques are working, and which aren’t. Then you can focus your time and marketing dollars accordingly.
Also, get to know your customers – or your potential customers. Who are they and what is important to them? Are they cash rich or cash poor? Is their business or industry recession proof, or are they at the mercy of the markets too? Understanding your clients’ situation can help you predict their needs and market accordingly.
4. Adjust Prices
In a recession, promotions like sweepstakes, mail-in-offers, and the like, don’t get as much attention as price breaks, according to John Quelch’s blog. So adjust your prices, offer more credit, give temporary price breaks to existing customers. A small cutback on prices now can help convert customers and create lifelong devotees, ultimately bringing in more money than the price cut lost.Posted by Michelle Posted on 10 Jun