Is Marketing Important to Businesses in the Comox Valley in 2011?

May 31, 2011


The short answer to this mildly tongue-in-cheek question, Is Marketing Important to Businesses in the Comox Valley in 2011?, is yes. The longer answer requires a little more explanation.

2011 has brought with it several challenges to businesses on Vancouver Island in general and the Comox Valley in particular.

1. The strength of the Canadian dollar is affecting most Vancouver Island based exporting businesses negatively while giving importing businesses a bit of a break.

2.Increased fuel and ferry prices are negatively affecting all Vancouver Island businesses, but particularly those which rely on transportation to bring products to them or those which rely on transportation to take their products out of the Comox Valley and off of Vancouver Island.

3. Consumer spending is cautious and, despite predictions indicating growth, most retail stores are feeling the economic pinch. This is evident by the number of stores with continuous sales, store closures and the long faces of many retail business owners in Courtenay, Comox and Nanaimo.

All in all, very few Vancouver Island businesses are immune to the economic realities of this period in history.

Several things seem to happen when business owners are faced with these types of challenges.

The first thing most retail owners do is put on sales (or discount products) to draw in more shoppers. This can be a slippery slope as it leads consumers to expect lower prices all the time and it can often be the start of “the race to the bottom” between competing businesses. How many 30-50% off signs have you noticed in retail stores in the Comox Valley since Christmas?

Another thing many business owners are tempted to do is cut or eliminate their marketing budget. On the face of it, a business owner may feel that marketing is an expense they can not afford. We argue that marketing is the one expense no business owner, in the Comox Valley or anywhere, can afford to do without.

So what to do.

All businesses, big and small, in Courtenay, Comox, Nanaimo, Vancouver and beyond, face tough economic times. One of the advantages that smaller businesses have is that they can “turn the boat around” more quickly. Adjustments to costs can often be made, perhaps by streamlining; efficiencies can be found; and marketing efforts can be made efficiently and cost-effectively.

Marketer Jay Levinson said, "If you don't believe in your product, or if you're not consistent and regular in the way you promote it, the odds of succeeding go way down. The primary function of the marketing plan is to ensure that you have the resources and the wherewithal to do what it takes to make your product work."

Developing a sound marketing strategy, one that takes into account the current economic realities, is perhaps the single most important thing a business owner on Vancouver Island can do to survive the storm. Marketing plans and actions need not break the bank, but they do need to be coordinated, well thought out and well executed. Marketing done right ensures constant and consistent presence in your customers’ minds, ensures you stand out from your competitors and ensures your business success.

Better Mousetrap Marketing works with business owners in Courtenay, Comox, Nanaimo, Victoria, and the Lower Mainland. As a full-service marketing agency, we offer branding, web, and marketing services. Developing coordinated,  thought-out, and well-executed business and marketing plans is our specialty.

To help us learn more about your business, please complete our marketing survey.

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