Friday, January 25, 2008

5 Ways to Fight Back during the Downturn

We don’t have to tell you that there’s concern about the economy right now—both in Scheibel Halaska’s hometown and across the country.

But maybe we do have to tell you this: Strategic communications are important to the future of your business in both good times and bad.

So if the economy is on a downtown, the vast array of marketing channels makes it easier than ever before to maximize the value of your marketing spending. The current economic uncertainty may be the impetus you need to think and execute creatively.

Without further ado, here are five marketing communications tips for 2008:

1. Blend tactics. Don’t be afraid to make marketing investments. But like any smart investor, you should diversify your portfolio—in this case with print and online ads, email marketing, pr, targeted direct mail and more.

2. Try more ROI-measurable programs, such as email campaigns. You can keep a closer eye on the value you’re getting from your hard-to-come-by marketing dollars.

3. Pursue a key customer strategy. Focus on your best, most profitable accounts—because when the economy is slow, the strength of your relationships will determine your success. In addition, profile your most successful customers and use that to build your prospect database.

4. Emphasize PR. If there isn’t enough room to do as much advertising as you’d like, public relations is a way to get your message out more efficiently. Plus, you can turn every media win into a winning streak by sharing the coverage in other vehicles, such as your website, email marketing and more.

5. Plant seeds for ‘09 and beyond. Potential clients may balk at spending at the moment, but start the conversation now with targeted direct marketing to build leads for the future. Use marketing rather than feet on the street to more cost efficiently stay in front of your targets.

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