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Smart marketing is needed now

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It’s a tough time right now. If you’re thinking of slashing your marketing budget, don’t be too hasty. Hugh Davidson, author of ‘Offensive Marketing’ says ‘Studies show that brands that maintain or increase marketing spend in a recession tend to do better than their rivals in the long run’. Indeed, when there is less business available does it really make sense to become quieter? No, you need to bang your drum harder and smarter. Lowering brand awareness makes it much harder to gain when your competitors have taken your place.  So here are a few tips on cost effective, ‘smart’ marketing activities that could help see you through.

1. Review all marketing activities and only cut those that are not delivering. Only keep activities that have been proven to yield results. Testing and measuring your marketing activities is key to this and if you don’t yet do it, shame on you! Get a measurement system in place pronto.

2. Increase ‘free marketing’ activities. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and with a bit of encouragement, your current satisfied clients can become very valuable to you.

3. Cut back on production costs by streamlining your processes. Are you using the most cost effective supplier? Are you wasting time in the sign off process? Can you combine projects to get a better deal?

4. Integrate your marketing activities to strengthen their effect. The interaction of varying activities can increase the impact they make significantly.

5. In the current climate, clients needs change and your marketing strategy needs to bend and flex to support this. Keep an eye on it and review monthly to ensure it is doing what it should.

6. Look after your current clients, they are as worried as you so be flexible. Understand their woes and work with them. Marketing is most effective when you understand and responds to people’s individual needs and aspirations.

7. Advancements in digital marketing has made it one of the most cost effective marketing activity there is. Website updates, search engine optimisation, social media and direct mail can be the best ways of reaching your market when budgets are tight. You can launch targeted campaigns that are measurable. Websites and email campaigns can be tracked and data captured which will help you understand what works. Don’t rule out the likes of Twitter just because you think your clients aren’t using it. It’s becoming the fastest growing online tool out there and could become a valuable part of your marketing mix.

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