Today's Green Bay Press-Gazette guest columnist David Yeghiaian made very
good points in his article Marketing Cuts Costly in the Long Run.
The 70% of companies decreasing marketing budgets during this recession will unfortunately realize the damage they've done when the recession recedes and they're faced with another uphill battle: re-building their marketing efforts; especially if competitors aren't cutting their marketing budgets. It's been proven that companies large and small that continue to market = and innovate during the recession gain ground against competitors once the recession is over. Customers remember your products/services instead of your layoffs; employees recognize your dedication to keeping the business afloat, resulting in a more productive staff to help you through tough times.
Possibly some of the best advice we can give when prioritizing musts and wants during tough times and get the most bang for your buck to engage in social networking. If you want to out-market your competition, do some research by getting to know your prospects and customers better. Decide what networks your customers are most likely to connect on. Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn groups? Youtube? Online news sites?
Next, have the most engaging, high-quality, and authentic conversations you can with them. Listen to their needs, wants, and suggestions for improvement. Find out what news sites they're reading, blogs they subscribe to, what they're doing online, and where they go when they need answers.
What you have now is a basis of customer feedback to decide how social networking can help market your business, if at all. Maybe your customers prefer face-to-face communication, or stick to the good ol’ newspaper instead of catching up with online news. You'll discover all this and more if you engage your audience, discover their needs, and strategically design
your marketing plan based on what you've learned.