The 12 Step Program for Marketing Strategy Recovery
Forward by Kelley Rao: We asked our guest contributor, Brenda Galloway of Write Essentials, what advice she would give businesses that were currently struggling in this rocky economy. She pointed us to this article she wrote a short while ago and we hope you will read and take heed! It's time for a little marketing shake-up!
Step 1: Accept the fact that a solid, well-executed marketing strategy is a necessity, not a luxury. Contrary to logic, the marketing budget is often the first victim of cutting expenses. However, marketing keeps you in front of your customers. Continuing with your marketing efforts will pay off while your competition seems to “fall off the face of the Earth.”
Step 2: Admit that marketing campaigns that worked a year ago may no longer net results. Consumers’ priorities have changed and you need to be aware of where your product or service stands in relation to their needs and wants. Adjust your strategy accordingly.
Step 3: Be willing to make amends for the mistakes of others.
The mortgage fiasco started this whole thing and the effects trickled into every aspect of life. Consumer confidence as a whole is down. Send messages that instill trust in your business.
Step 4: Realize that now is the opportune time to reposition your business.
A collective tightening of the belt has drawn a distinctive line between needs and wants. If necessary, reposition your product or service from a want to a need.
Step 5: Consciously improve your contact with customers.
Meet your customers where they are and connect with them there. Regardless of the cost or the time involved to reach out to them, do it, even if it means embarking on a new strategy like variable print direct mail or engaging in social media venues.
Step 6: Remove any barriers from the buying process.
Enlist the help of objective people to play the role of your customer. After they make a trial run through your Web site or phone ordering service, fix any glitches they found in ordering process.
Step 7: Address consumer concerns.
Make a list of frequently asked questions and answer them on your Web site’s FAQ section. If you don’t have one, add one. Analyze your site statistics and beef up the pages where customers leave. Addressing customer concerns goes a long way to building trust and neutralizing skepticism.
Step 8: Believe in the power of the written word.
The written word lies at the core of any solid marketing strategy- online or offline. Keep your messages consistent and relevant to your target audience because not only are they cautious with their money today, they are protective of their time.
Step 9: Commit to quality in every piece of your marketing communications.
Even if it is only a Twitter post, ensure every word is spelled correctly and every sentence is grammatically accurate. The smallest errors reflect poorly on your business and today many people are far less forgiving of mistakes than they used to be.
Step 10: Be willing to let go of the marketing efforts that do not work.
Mistakes are inevitable. The challenge is to know when to cut those marketing mistakes loose. For example, the New Coke, which spent 2 years and millions of dollars in the development stage, lasted a mere 79 days on the market before Coca-Cola reverted back to its original formula.
Step 11: Embrace new marketing ideas.
Marketing is not a one size fits all concept. Be open to new ideas and how they can complement your current strategy. There are so many new options today that are affordable and easy to implement.
Step 12: Have the courage to do the things you can, accept the things you can’t and have the wisdom to know the difference.
If creating or executing your marketing strategy isn’t your forte, accept the fact and contract someone who can help. It will free up your time to focus on doing the things you do best and ensure your marketing strategy is as effective as possible.
About the Author: Since 1999, Brenda Galloway of Write Essentials has helped clients whip and keep their web site content in perfect shape. Along the way, she has made alliances with Web and graphic designers, and even married her digital printer, to ensure her clients have affordable access to professionals who will see a project through from beginning to end.