For most all of us, the past year has been a time of looking to reduce costs. Whether it was streamlining expenses, reducing labor costs or just not investing in new equipment, the whole mentality was one of ”hunkering down” and saving money. Not surprisingly, one of the first expenses usually cut is that of marketing and advertising. Actually though, this is the one area that could do all of us the most good. While reducing costs can have a strong impact on the bottom line, after a certain point we need to switch gears and look to increase the top line.
This will take a change in thinking – especially if your business has also seen a shift in potential markets (or funding if you are a non-profit organization). You will need to re-assess your marketing strategies, client base, strengths/weaknesses, products, etc. This effort will now become the basis of a plan to move forward and begin to actively seek out new business. If you are able to achieve this through internal sources all the better – but for many businesses that have made a point of reducing staff over the past 18 months, the best alternative may be to outsource at least some of the required efforts.
Another important consideration is how best to market you organization. While business in general has slowed considerably over the past 2 years, the speed at which communication is changing has not slowed at all! There is a wider range of media available now, and it is critical for success in marketing today that you use an integrated approach. Direct mail, e-mail, social media, video, internet – all are viable for any size organization, just be sure to keep your brand and message consistent across all forms.
Full recovery may still be several months away, but there is no better time to start gearing up for growth than right now. Whatever industry or market your are in, much better to be the one in the lead rather than those who are playing catch up!