Last week, we discussed the importance of dusting off your business plan to update it for the current economic conditions. Once you’ve had a chance to review and tweak your business plan, it’s time to turn your attention to your marketing efforts. Although you may still have decent revenue streams, making small changes to the way you do business can help you reap the rewards of new clients and additional market share.
Today’s Economy Demands Technology
Since the creation of the Internet, business technology continues to expand in ways no one imagined. If you’ve read anything on increasing your revenue or cutting expenses, you already know the benefits of incorporating technology into your sales efforts. Once you’re ready to embrace it, add the use of sales technologies to your marketing plan.
For instance, perhaps your company has always gained new clients through workshops or seminars. While this is a viable business model, the cost of meeting space, refreshments and literature is expensive. At the same time, your closing ratio may not be as high as it was even a few years ago.
To keep more from each sale in your pocket, look at ways to automate your seminars and workshops. Could you stream your seminar live over the Internet? Have you thought about turning your workshops into an email series? Both are valid ways to get your message to potential clients at a fraction of the cost.
Today’s Economy Demands Multiple Methods of Marketing
You should scrutinize every dollar you spend on advertising. A varied mix of advertising methods is a good idea. You should track the performance of all of your advertising: print, direct mail, online, email, TV, radio, etc. Once you know how your various advertising dollars are performing, it’s easier to see where you should be spending your money.
Today’s Economy Demands You Watch the Competition
If you already updated your business plan, you know which competitors are moving in on your market share. The real question to ask is how they’re taking away your customers. Take a close look at the marketing efforts and product offerings of the competitors who comprise the top three threats to your business. Specifically, determine:
- How they allocate their advertising budget
- If their price point is in line with yours
- What products they offer that you don’t
- Whether they provide a different level of customer service
Selling products and services is all about knowing your customer base. When your competition finds a new way to reach them, it’s worth your attention. Could it work for your business as well? In some cases, their strategy may be inappropriate for your company, but there’s no reason you can’t use their same marketing techniques against them. To do this:
- Advertise in the same high relevance print publications
- Develop comparable products and services
- Raise the bar on your level of customer service