Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Marketing in Today’s Economic Climate

Companies today are very careful about how they spend their cash. They have just experienced severe cut backs in almost every phase of their operations. Credit is extremely tight and with reduced personnel, the resources both in human and financial capital are scarce. Many companies have continued to invest in product development knowing that without it, tomorrow’s business opportunities will be suspect. Investments have also been made in process improvements to help offset the loss of personnel. Technology too has generally been upgraded, at least in some small way. All affect the internal workings of the company.

But what about the external aspect? What is being done to increase revenue instead of solely focusing on reducing costs and driving efficiencies?

Has your company upgraded the sales operation?

Has your company retuned the marketing plan so that it identifies customer or client needs more specifically and them brings your products and services directly in line with those needs?

We see too many companies that have neglected the revenue generation aspects of their business.

Here are some simple ways to help you drive revenue in support of sales:

Start with the customer. This almost goes without saying. Yet so many companies seem to almost ignore the customer and just generate programs. Go to your best customers and ask them to identify their greatest challenges. Find out how your offerings can best fit their needs and what they have valued most in doing business with you in the past. Getting new customers is VERY expensive. Keep and cherish existing customers and find out how you can provide even greater support to them. They will appreciate your efforts and will remember it at ordering time.

Retool the marketing plan. If indeed a written plan exists, it has to cascade from the company’s overall plan. The old plan is no longer viable in today’s economic climate. Build a new dynamic plan that focuses resources on the greatest leverage points. The old 80/20 rule holds true. Find the few elements that will maximize the return on your marketing investment and support them aggressively.

Brand, Brand, Brand. Take your focused positioning and drive the branding of your company and products in every aspect of your marketing and company operations. This is the single best way to increase the profitability of your efforts. Branded products or services have higher margins and well branded products or services are worth their weight in gold. Make sure that all of the company employees understand the importance of branding and the specifics of the branding you are creating.

Brand your competition. This may seem counterintuitive but it makes a lot of sense. By saying complimentary things about your competition and focusing on only certain aspects of their value, you can brand them into a place that has limited appeal to your customers or clients. For example, you could brand them as being the low price alternative. That can leave you the higher margin premium price business. It also defines the difference in quality. Of course, you need to be certain that the branding you are creating for both your offerings and those of competition are true.

Invest in yourself. If you do not provide sufficient resources to support your plan, it will fail. Many superb plans are still in the files of companies that have gone out of business because they were never supported.

Take advantage of social media. If you do not have a social media resource, get one. This is the best and most economical way of marketing these days and if you do it right, you can create a huge competitive advantage.

Don’t let the economy undermine your revenue generation. Build the right plans to capitalize on today’s economy and be successful. Let us know if we can help.



John Maver
Maver Management Group
925) 648-7561
Maver Management
View John Maver's profile on LinkedIn

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