Insights to Marketing in a Down Economy
As Professor John Quelch, of Harvard Business School, shared in the March 3, 2008 issue of the Harvard Business School's issue of Working Knowledge, there is are clear steps to marketing your way through a recession. These include the following:
Stay commited to research - It's now more important than ever before to understand what the customer is thinking and doing. It is vital to keep a pulse on what is important to them and make sure you are delivering. This is why we feel is absolutely vital that you closely monitor your web analytics. Usually we can look at website user behavior and see exactly what is important to the visitor. For example, on a recent project we were able to see that a client's customer base was showing considerable pause in their buying behavior. They were still seeing the same number of pages, but they were spending a much longer time viewing the page. In essence, it was like they were walking their way to the check out counter, but were taking a much longer time in the process. Changes in merchandising were able to help address this issue.
Maintain marketing spending - Professor Quelch says "This is not the time to cut advertising. It is well documented that brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times."
"Successful companies do not abandon their marketing strategies in a recession; they adapt them" says Quelch.
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Three Simple, but Effective Marketing Strategies
Integrate Your Marketing Efforts - As an internet marketing consulting firm we oftentimes find that online communications are somehow segregated from other communication vehicles. By simply integrating, or at least informing your online marketers of what is taking place online they can better help to make sure that your online efforts can benefit.
At Zephoria we have developed a list of seven ways that marketing programs can be better integrated. Send us a note by clicking here and we'll send you these insights as well as some direct applications at your firm.
Develop Key Performance Indicators - Essentially key performance indicators or KPI's are how you define success in your organization. While obviously sales is the primary metric, it is also critical to develop other metrics that allow you to measure your organization more upstream and hence develop greater predicative measurement tools that can help you pinpoint trends before they impact the bottom line. Also KPI's can help you better analyze your marketing efforts in quantifiable ways that can provide value to the organization.
A few examples of KPI's that we've helped companies integrate include measuring number of site visitors in a given sales territory or region, analyze visitor content interest (what products are the most popular and which are being ignored).
Expanded Exposure to New Markets for Free - Through a strategic use of search engines it is possible to capture new markets in ways that build long-term revenue and marketshare. Several Zephoria clients have actually entered brand new markets through this strategy that leveraged their current internal experience as well as long-term strategic directions.
To learn more just drop Zephoria president, Dan Noyes, a note or contact him directly at (585) 230-9565 and he'll share the innovative ways to expand your exposure and develop new market segments through this innovative strategy.