Marketing in Economic Uncertainty

July 21, 2011

In uncertain economic times, it is an all-too-often sight  small and medium sized businesses closing their doors. Your favourite dress shop may suddenly have a "closing out" sale, the owner finally forced to close the doors due to declining sales. A local food establishment, struggling for months, quietly disappears into the place where former restaurants go to rest.  

So which businesses manage to stay the course and which ones fall victim? In my experience, the business owner who makes few changes, constantly holds sales and keeps his or her problems to herself, is usually the latter. The business owner who is not above asking for help, trying new things and developing and implementing a marketing plan, is often the former.

Marketing Plans

Are marketing plans the panacea? Of course not, but a well-researched and well-executed marketing plan can make a significant difference. I often hear business owners tell me they don't have much money for marketing. I understand this; it is hard to put money towards an unknown quantity, particularly if results and effectiveness aren't measured. But marketing (and I don't just mean advertising) should constitute a percentage of your business's budget: 7-10% is not outrageous. If your budget is small it doesn't mean you can't do any marketing, it just means you need to find effective and cost-efficient ways to get your message out. There are many low-cost but highly effective marketing tools – Facebook is an excellent example – that will go a long way to helping you beat tough times.

Talk to your local marketing expert about developing a marketing plan. Ideally you want your provider to do research into: your competition; your competitive advantages; your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis); and your best marketing potential. You want to have a 6-12 month marketing plan developed so you know in advance what marketing activities you will be doing and how much each activity will cost.

At Better Mousetrap Marketing we develop marketing plans complete with marketing calendars for our clients. Whether you are in Nanaimo, Courtenay, Parksville, Victoria, or the Lower Mainland, we can help plan and implement the right marketing strategy to effectively reach your target audience.

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