With tumbling shares, global economic uncertainty, a lame duck US president and Kochie doing doom and gloom specials on TV, you’d think the world was going to end. But how bad is it? Should we all go home and give up? Today’s economic uncertainty could be a business opportunity.

It’s pretty simple really. Take a good look at your business, reconnect with your customers, provide the very best products, services and prices – and market as hard as you can.

We’ve been working with clients in the internet marketing space for 10 years now and saw a similar cycle in 2001 when there was a global recession a Tech crash and the slowing effect from the introduction of GST.

Interesting enough the companies that floundered and faltered, cut back on all their spending to try and ride it out, while the ones that prospered and grew and are much more successful 7 years on are the ones that cut back on non essential expenses and reinvested heavily in marketing.

Don’t make survival your sole aim, make it growth.

I was having this discussion with Julian Campbell last week and he had a great analogy. Business is like a shrub or bush. It is constantly growing, but if you let it just grow naturally, it will go wild, it’s growth will slow down and when droughts and storms come, branches will break off and it will be uprooted and die. If you continually trim and prune the bush, the foliage gets thick and lush and the bush grows quickly and strongly. Even during drought and storm the bush may brown a bit but it stays solid and health.

It’s time for us to make sure our businesses are well pruned, that all the dead wood has been trimmed back and we start fertilising it with marketing.

Revisit your marketing goals and promotional strategies.

Marketing goals need to be specific, measurable and focussed on generating enquiries and sales. Brand building in prosperous times of growth is fantastic to the overall business, however short term sales objectives are often more relevant in harder times.

Thus the use of more short-term promotional strategies such as direct marketing, sales promotion or e-marketing may increase as a proportion of your marketing budget.

Customer value for money isn’t always measured in terms of the ‘sale price’.

Beware the temptation to compete on price during economic turmoil. Customers will always want value. The concept of value needs to expand beyond just economic value.  Value can be created through quality, benefits, information, extra services, customer satisfaction and relationship management.

Remove the risk

In times of worry, people will always be more risk adverse. If you can limit the risk to the customers or remove it altogether you will continue to sell strongly.

Go against the flow

An aggressive marketing strategy doesn’t have to be costly however it does need to be different, creative and stand out from the crowd.

It comes from truly understanding the needs of your clients. What is your competitive advantage and how can you effectively and efficiently communicate it potential clients?

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