For many businesses, as soon as the economic outlook turns downward so does their spending on marketing and advertising. But fear is not a smart way to run your business.
“Times of economic recession is not the time to cut back on marketing,” comments Robby Meadows, Director of Marketing for Nashville Wraps. “In fact, in these times, it requires more.”
There are great ways to invest in your business so you can reap big rewards in the long run and stay ahead of your competition.
1. Join the World Wide Web
In the past decade, consumers have changed the way they shop. Search is the #1 method of finding websites. In 2007, the US internet audience increased by 5% to (183.6 Million). Search increased by 15% to 9.6 billion, and Google increased by 30% to 5.6 billion.
Because of the internet, savvy shoppers like to research products or services before they buy. Ultimately, they may purchase online or buy the product at the store. Either way, your business needs a website. Even with a simple website, customers can learn about you, your products and your services. They need to see your products, prices, e-mail address and directions to your store. Your website should have great pictures showcasing your products, interesting text, and easy-to-use navigation.
A great website will expand your business beyond your block and into the world. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, and there are many do-it-yourself designs available online with affordable hosting.
2. Have a Shop That Pops
“This year more than ever retailers need to be at the top of their game,” says Pam Danziger, President of Unity Marketing. “With shoppers super-cautious about their spending, retailers need to give them a reason to come shopping – but shopping alone can’t be the reason. They need to draw them into the store by offering an experience that makes shopping there fun, engaging and entertaining.”
In Danziger’s latest book Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers Can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience, retailers can learn the seven factors that extraordinary stores share. It explains how retailers can survive in a slow market by making the shopping experience special for their customers.
3. Choose Custom Printed Packaging
Don’t think of custom printing only as an expense. It’s an advertising investment. Nashville Wraps custom prints shopping bags, boxes, ribbon, and labels. Personalizing your packaging is a great way to brand your business and reflect your image. Whether shoppers are carrying around your custom printed bag or giving a gift with your label on it, you are opening the door for new business.
4. Find Unique Ways to Advertise
Newspaper and yellow page ads may work for your business but look beyond traditional ways of advertising. Maintain a customer list including their e-mail addresses. Ask your customers if they would like to receive promotions or specials from you. Constant Contact is one of the best products on the market for you to easily create a monthly e-mail newsletter and track the results. Customers can unsubscribe if they so desire, but the best part is you target your market at a very low cost. And better yet, these customers may forward your e-mail to their friends and potential new customers at no cost to you.
Sure, most of us in business is competitive, and we want to be the best and stay on top of our competition. However, it doesn’t matter if sales are up or down, because the only true question in all of business remains – “Are you excellent?” Excellence transcends the economy and competition. When you are excellent, your customers will seek you out, and they will tell their friends.