In difficult times, the marketing budget is usually the first thing to get cut. This is very short-sighted because it is especially important to keep your brand image alive when times are tough. It has been proven time and time again that the companies that keep up their marketing campaigns during tough times are the ones that come out on top. That is not to say that you need to spend a fortune on marketing – there are ways to keep your image alive in the mind of the customer without breaking the bank.
Word of Mouth Recommendations
Word of mouth recommendations are by far the best and cheapest form of marketing. The way to get these is to offer the client the very best service and ensure that they are happy that they are getting value for their money. You should note that this does not mean being the cheapest but it does mean making your client aware of your value proposition.
Your 24/7 Marketing Rep
Your website may be one of the hardest workers in your company. If you have an ecommerce site, your website will act as a receptionist fielding queries and directing clients, will act as a sales person to sell your product and will act as a cashier getting by getting the money out of the clients. You will also find that your website can perform some basic admin functions on your behalf when it comes to the ordering process.
In addition, your website is always “at work” and does not need a pension or medical plan. When times are hard, it is imperative that you take full advantage of your website – make sure that the site looks fresh and functions properly. Navigation around the site should be intuitive and there should be a very definite call to action on the landing page to entice people to buy. Make your site useful and update regularly to get people to visit again and again.
Using “Opt in” Advertising
There are now several non-traditional marketing channels that are available at a low cost or at no cost at all. Bulk SMS’s can be a valuable and inexpensive marketing tool. Social media can be a free one and even more valuable. As with all marketing, make sure that you do not bombard your client or they may opt out of the program. If your approach is fun and useful you will find that people also tell their friends. All of the methods outlined above keep your company firmly in the customer’s mind and are invaluable when building a brand image. It is vital to get these things right.