Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Marketing in a difficult climate

It’s hard to push your business forward when you don’t know what may be round the corner, and with the instability in the economy led by the banking sector and housing market, the knock-on effect to your business changes the way you think about marketing.

Some companies and small businesses see marketing as a luxury, not a necessity, and who can blame them? When money becomes tight the new website and brochure get put to the bottom of the pile and are replaced by other seemingly more important things.

However, if we consider the benefit of exposing your company to a wider market, increasing your potential customer base has to be a good way to combat any potential market down-turn.

Here is an example of what can happen if the money is spent in the right area.

Power Contractors, based in Robertown, specialises in providing electrical contracting and cable pulling services to industry. Managing director Mark Beaumont decided to invest in promoting his business every month as part of his business plan.

Following an appraisal of the market Power Contractors operates in, we identified that this industry often sourced its sub-contracting services through an internet search using key words.

By improving the likelihood of the company’s website being found by customers, and matching its content to the search terms customers were using, we were confident that more enquiries would start to come in. With this in mind we launched an online campaign, and refreshed the Power Contractors website to meet its customers’ requirements.

Mark comments.

“I committed to marketing my business two years ago, and asked The Mix in Mirfield to help me get my name out there into the market. They recommended an on-line advertising campaign which, in conjunction with my new website, has already helped me double my customer base, and along with it my turnover. I am really pleased with the response, which has led to us securing contracts that we would never have found out about before.”

“I am now considering upgrading all my promotional material while I have time to commit to it.”

Mark’s business is a good example of how regular investment can help grow a client base, and as the market climate becomes more difficult this can be used to the company’s advantage if you use the extra time to increase the awareness of your products and services to a wider audience.

Some things you can do which can help include.

  • Upgrade your website and optimise it so that people can find you more easily
  • Produce a brochure and mail it to potential customers
  • Do some advertising on search engines such as Google and Yahoo
  • Upgrade your Logo and advertise locally
  • Get a Flyer designed and mail shot new customers
  • Look at new products or expand your range of services

While cost has to be a strong consideration a great number of the suggestions above will not break the bank, but the benefit would be measurable and have the potential to have an immediate effect. A website upgrade for example could cost as little as £150 so why not get it looked at as soon as possible? Online advertising can also start from as little as £3 a day.

So cost is not a reason not to do it and as the market climate becomes more difficult most companies have more time to dedicate to marketing. There is really no excuse not to make marketing a part of your day to day business.