There is no doubt that 2009 was a challenging year for most businesses, but I saw a trend that was significantly different in the advertising field than in past down economies…..businesses cut their advertising budgets instead of advertising more and taking advantage of better rates from TV, radio, billboards and newspapers. Some businesses shifted to doing more on-line marketing during this year to off-set their past traditional advertising, but it has amazed me at the number of businesses that are doing nothing. What are you waiting for?
In the 1981-1982 recession businesses who advertised aggressively during the difficult times had a far greater return than their competitors and after the recession they had a significantly stronger market share. So, why do we not see more local businesses taking advantage of better media rates? Most of it is that we are influenced by what we hear on the news. It does have an effect on consumer spending and it also has an effect on how businesses will choose to spend money. Even with businesses that are not really directly impacted by the economy they will follow suit and choose to cut their marketing budget just because it is what everyone else is doing. Yikes! This is when I ask them if they are looking long range at what it is doing to their business and if they are planning on staying open, what is their strategy to increase sales?
The thing you really need to ask yourself as a business owner is this….”How will I get people to know about the holiday sale I am having at the end of the month or about the quality service I am providing today?” Word of mouth advertising and on-line networking will help, but is it enough? Can you see your business reaching a wide enough audience to insure traffic to your doors so that your sale is successful or so you capture the market of people who are planning to purchase the service you provide? And, when the economy improves, have you positioned your business for growth with a strong marketing campaign or did you cut your budget so much that only your immediate family and friends still know you are in business? How are you telling the world your doors are open and you want to do business?
Listen less to the news media and more to your own business intuition. Contact a marketing consultant or hire a PR firm to help position yourself for today and tomorrow. Sitting in your store with no traffic coming in the doors or no phone ringing for your service offers you time to review what you have done for marketing and advertising this year. Decide if it is time to be bold and brave and invest in your business today with a smart marketing strategy so that tomorrow you are the leader in your industry and the company everyone remembers!
All my best to your success!
“Success wears the Purple Diamond!”