It is extremely hard for a small business to survive in a bad economy. Everyone is watching or limiting their spending, and people are making budget cuts everywhere. Especially if yours is a luxury product, you may find selling a daunting task.
You, as business owner, also need to make cutbacks on major expenses - and most probably, if it's not your manpower that you must downsize, your marketing is one of the first things you will consider to cut back on.
So how does a small business market in a bad economy? Here are 3 pieces of advice, which may help.
Go easy on the traditional marketing and advertising. The first thing to stop or minimize is the wastage of money on non-targeted advertising. The approach of standard marketing is oftentimes on a "however hears it" approach. Very expensive television and radio commercials are aired with very little attention paid to effectiveness in reaching the specific target market an advertiser wants to capture. Billboards, newspaper and magazine ads may even be less effective, because the chances of your ad being seen by the proper market depends on the probability that they read or see the specific newspaper, magazine or billboard your ad is on.
There is one thing a marketer must also remember about standard marketing - When your interested demographic shrinks, your marketing/advertising efforts become less effective. Therefore, when your potential buyers are making cutbacks on their budgets, the less they will look into ads that will tease them into digging into of their significantly thinner wallets.
Pump up your web advertising. This includes social media marketing and website promotion. When your main goal is to reach a specific target market, then Internet promotions prove to be one of the best options. When people go to the Internet to browse, they have a specific goal in mind - to purchase something they need. They have an idea what it is, and how much they are willing to spend. In other words, you know that they are interested - this is the virtual equivalent of getting a client's foot inside your door. It would therefore be a great idea to focus your marketing efforts on all forms of Internet marketing - website advertising and promoting via the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.
It would be a good idea to attract only the interested people who are already looking for your product or service through keywords. Having your product therefore pop up on a search list is a good idea because a future customer will never enter your keywords if he is not primed and ready to purchase. Even in a bad economy, when 50 people search for your keywords, you have a huge chance of making 50 sales. The trick is just to be a cut a above the rest of your competitors. Be ready with offers, which are hard to resist. When everybody is experiencing bad times, the worst thing you can do is offer highly-priced products, even when the quality of yours is better than others'. Instead, offer other more affordable items - when the pockets are almost empty, buyers are willing to settle for second best.
Web marketing eliminates the wastage of money due to inefficient marketing. No, cutting back to almost nothing is not a great idea even in a bad economy. Not only will you lose your established position in the market, you will also lose a lot of opportunities to sell.
Network. Market to a group of individuals who still find the time and effort to attend events - they obviously are looking for other sellers who may be able to fill in a need. When a person attends a networking event, he is ready and willing to entertain sellers. Therefore, even in tough times, there is still an interested market out there - so your role is to go and find them. Sometimes, you will find that even the most difficult to persuade have a change of mind when they get to meet the actual business owner face-to-face. Nothing beats the opportunity to personally convince someone to try out your products. This of course is only possible if you have managed to perfect the art of skillful and sincere convincing.
Fret not, business owners, there are still some viable ways to continue selling to people even when times hit hard. The trick is to understand the limited and careful spending habits of your potential clients, and from your end - the elimination of wastage of money on ineffective forms of marketing.
Michael Griffiths is the CEO and Founder of My Small Business Marketing Guru. Helping small business owners generate more leads, clients and increase profits with relationship based marketing strategies. We invite you to get your free black mask marketing resources to help you business grow today, when you visit http://mysmallbusinessmarketingguru.com.au
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