Marketing in any downturn comes down to first, making sure that you are exercising the fundamentals. In an earlier article and post, we described the eight functions that every business should be undertaking in order to successfully navigate an economic period of increased competition and decreased capacity from consumers to buy products and services. The reason that these eight practices are so important in a downturn is because they no not depend on heavy up front expenditures on advertising.
In an earlier post we described four of these principles as they were outlined from Richard Johnson’s Hidden Marketing Asset (HMA) program. If you recall, Richard Johnson, did not conceive of the principles, but he did organize them in a way for business owners and decision makers to understand and implement them easily. They are elemental to marketing success.
In addition to that, they work best when done together as part of a marketing plan or system. Their strength does not necessarily come when these steps are exercised apart from all of the others. Our discussion began in the last article with the first four (or core four) marketing resource assets (USP, Add-On Selling, maintaining a database and establishing marketing alliances). We will now discuss the second four principles:
Custom and Educational Advertising
Once the business owner(s) are doing all of the core four principles consistently, they can begin to work on using more traditional forms of advertising for the sake of building awareness about their products and services. The call to action in the message from the business to the buyer is not necessarily to buy at that moment. The call to action is to be aware.
However, great care needs to be taken when undertaking this kind of promotion. Businesses need to know where their clients are hanging out, what they are reading and what they are thinking about. Because if a business’s target market does not watch television, there is no need to start a television campaign for awareness about their products and services. A number of these methods can be executed online; however, you will need to make sure to conduct research on your particular target market before starting an online PR Campaign.
Community Relations and PR
The problem with more traditional forms of advertising is that they are typically very expensive. And it is difficult for small businesses without a large advertising budget to build awareness with custom advertising because awareness typically takes a long campaign to be successful. That does not mean that businesses need to give up on making people aware of them.
The best way for a business to generate awareness when a substantial budget isn’t present is to have an active presence in a local community. Of course this takes many forms, but it is taking the opportunity to contribute to the place where you live, socialize and/or “hang out”. This can take place either online or offline, but it not a direct sales message. It is using part of your business that you are good at delivering to serve someone in your community rather than to profit directly. But offering your company to be of direct benefit to others, allows them to see how good your company is at what they do. Of course, this also involves educating the public in your expertise as well as informing the community of all of the relevant news that may be of interest to them.
At one time the only way to do this effectively was literally to be on location to be involved. However, if you are willing to use techniques that a good internet marketing professional can show you: you can build a considerable level of community awareness with online marketing tools. Whether it is the use of a press release, educational webinar or ‘Meetup’ group, you can engage and help people with the specialty that your business does, and do so cost effectively.
One To One Direct Marketing
This involves direct communication with the buyer. Traditionally, this has been accomplished with direct mail, broadcast fax, telemarketing, radio. And these avenues work when you are able to test and track your result very closely. However, you and accomplish some of these connections online and through mobile marketing channels. By establishing a basic email marketing and text message marketing campaign you can the same one to one contact that at one time could only be accomplished by traditional direct marketing means.
Internet Based Promotion
Internet promotion can be done effective and without significant cost when you work with a consultant who can help you to get results relatively quickly. As you have been reading, each of the previous three principles can be accomplished using internet based promotional principles. This subject could be several articles all by itself because it coves so much ground. Whether you are using email, search engine optimization, social media or education based selling; you will need to have a good internet strategy working. However, to maximize the effectively, you should have the “core four” effectively in place.
Our company can help you to use internet marketing resources to put the right mix together of community awareness, direct marketing and custom advertising. We first, sit down with you to determine what your company would be benefit form. Then we look at your market, do our due diligence and recommend a course of action. We make sure it is customized to what you want to accomplish and what your expectations are. Call us today at 425-201-4729 so that we can help you to put all eight of these principles into a consistent plan.
Chik Quintans is a Digital Marketing Strategist with a passion for helping sales teams and businesses grow. As the owner of UnderGround Marketing Society LLC, creating a strong online brand and building a broad footprint online for sales teams and businesses are he and his company's areas of focus. Whether that be leveraging marketing channels and approaches such as social media, reputation, search engine optimization (SEO), video marketing and more. Chik Quintans can be reached on LinkedIn where you are invited to connect. https://www.linkedin.com/in/chikquintans