Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Finally! 3 Secrets to Marketing in a Recession

You can laugh at recession worries ... if you follow the right plan.
Below are 3 recession-proof marketing ideas you can use to boost sales and profits for your business -- no matter what's going on in the economy.

They're taken from the excellent book, Recession Storming: Thriving In Downturns Through Superior Marketing, Pricing And Product Strategies, by Rupert M. Hart.

In a recession, the main focus of your marketing efforts should be on existing clients.

Why? Because they represent the core of your business.

After retaining current clients, you can move outward to increase revenue and profits with smart pricing, introducing new products/services, and expanding into new markets.

Three specific ideas:

1. Adapt and adopt from other industries

Opportunities to borrow profitable ideas from non-competitive business are all around you. Hart offers these examples:
  • How could you become the McDonald's of your industry, by offering a simple, limited menu of unparalleled consistency?
  • How could you emulate H&R Block, by providing seasonal, personalized service at a reasonable price?
To which I would add, how could you become the Apple or Zappos of your industry, by emulating the best features of their branding, product design, or customer service?

2. Client satisfaction is NOT the same as client loyalty

Typically, 80% of customers who defect to competitors are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" -- just before they jump ship. Yikes.

The real measure of client loyalty is "referrability." To find out, ask this question: "How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?"

3. Differentiate or die

There are only two strategies for a business: to be differentiated, or to offer the lowest price.

Which do you want to be?

The faster you can differentiate your business from all others in the minds of your clients and prospects, the less you have to worry about price.

Recession Storming features more than 100 ideas taken from 80 businesses covering 5 economic downturns. There's really no way you can't get at least one idea from it that will repay you many times over.

(Kevin M. Donlin is author of the Free Special Report, Guaranteed Marketing for Small Business Professionals.)

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