Thursday, October 23, 2008

Marketers Must Innovate as Economy Tightens

When times are plentiful it's easy for marketers to become complacent. As the economy becomes increasingly challenging every business is looking for new revenue streams. Now is an excellent time to evaluate your current sales and marketing strategies, and look for new innovative approaches. Yesterday, I heard a sales manager bemoan the recent drop in new customer orders. Yet it was apparent that he wasn't modifying his approach to new customer acquisition. As the economy changes, what changes are you making?

One way to consider new alternatives is to assess each of the traditional 4 P's and ask whether your offerings match the current times: Is your product offering appropriate or is there a new feature or way to combine your product/services for your target customer base? Are there new markets that offer new places to sell? Pricing is an obvious lever in tough times, but think about creative ways to bundle offerings rather than simple price competition. Think about all of the terms in your contracts that might offer new ways to be creative. Are your promotions communicating to your customers in the right way? Are they supporting your core value proposition or competing with that proposition?

Now is a great time to evaluate your marketing approaches to maximize return on every dollar spent.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Yellow Pages ROMI versus Online Marketing

A new thick Yellow Pages book was dropped on my front lawn this week. The two thoughts that immediately entered my mind as I bent to pick up the book were: 1. Where will I put this huge book?, and 2. How much money have all these firms wasted? With the exception of perhaps some very local retailers, most of the money spent on ads in the Yellow Pages has been a waste. If you need a number, find it online. If you need to find an address or hours of operation, check the company website. The premium for Yellow Pages ads is just too high. If you're a samll business and want to fund an online marketing effort, cancel your Yellow Pages ad reallocate those funds.