In times like these (i.e. the world has flipped into cost-cutting mode), the pressure is on to slash the marketing budget. After all, it’s a no-brainer. You want to hold onto valued employees. Overhead costs have already been cut to bare bones. The marketing budget (if anything’s left) has got to go next, right?
This may be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for to reposition your company in the marketplace. Assuming the services you provide are in demand, your customers may be buying less but they’re still buying. Take a hard look at your brand promise. Tighten it up, expand and clarify your offer. Talk about what makes your company superior to the competition. Now’s the time when the airspace may be a bit “quieter” and your messages can get heard.
Trimming marketing budgets is one thing but don’t stop marketing altogether. When that competitor who has been kicking your butt for ages cuts his marketing, you can grab his spotlight. Here are a few ideas to keep building company awareness for very little money:
Keep communicating with your “house” list. Provide added value in the form of advice, articles of interest, and sometimes free consultation. This will pay you back in the long run.
Proactively solicit referrals from existing clients. Ask your favorite customers to be evangelists for your business. (And BTW, don’t forget to treat your existing customers like VIPs.)
Are you an expert in your field? Let your industry’s publication editors know that you’re available as a resource if they need one. (Remember, the pubs are short-handed too and may be happy to know about you!)
Are you exploring social media tools to generate buzz about your company? If not you are missing out on free marketing opportunities.