BNET posted an article in its leadership section titled, “What to Do in a Double-Dip Recession? Grow!” This may sound counter intuitive but it isn’t. There is evidence and research everywhere to support the notion that if you invest in gaining market share when your competitors are just trying to hang on, you will be in much better position when things do turn around.
We published these tips about Marketing in Tough Times a few years ago, they still seem very relevant today.
Direct Magazine published an article titled, “Make the Most of What You’ve Got”. Author, Carol Lustig, shared some realistic practical information with a great attitude. She talked about how her information technology systems were not completely up to date and she was not able to get the exact customer purchase data that she wanted to use for a new campaign.
The result was that working with what was available, a new campaign has been launched and customer relationships are being retained using targeted specific information.
We have talked about the ideals of customer segmentation and market analysis, but the other side of those ideas is that we just need to do something! Maybe that something is just to start with what we have.
Please talk to us, we are here to save you every possible fraction of a cent on postage and that sensibility can help you make the most from what you already have (creative ideas, artwork, customer information, extra mailing pieces, samples…).
Use postcards when appropriate. They’re fast, easy and affordable to produce.
If you plan to mail a series of postcards or self-mailers, print all versions at the same time, then mail them over time. The larger your print run, the lower the cost per printed piece.
Consider printing a year’s worth of four-color “shells” or basic templates (lower cost per piece for printing), then go back and do one-color imprints of specific messages or offers in smaller quantities throughout the year.
Consider one-color printing on colored or textured paper stock or other methods to save on printing.
Try two-color printing with screens to add visual interest.
Recycle an existing brochure or catalog by using a sticker, overwrap or other way to call attention to a specific product, service or offer inside.
Reactivate interest in a catalog that’s already in your customers’ hands by mailing out a postcard with a photo of the catalog cover on it and making a special limited offer.
Reduce printing and inserting costs by making your letter double as the reply device. Print the response information at the bottom of the letter and ask for the entire letter to be returned to you.
There are no filters removing printed mail from good old-fashioned mailboxes.
Nobody likes an empty mailbox! Mail volume has decreased, a really good offer to the right person has a great chance of standing out.
Now is a great time to take advantage of direct mail and other underused marketing channels.
Many businesses have shifted advertising to online efforts. Maybe this is the time to see our current economy as an opportunity. What a great occasion to increase brand advertising!
Successful brand advertising is all about building a connection with your customer, this establishes your business or product as something which is known and trusted. Brand marketing helps us trust a company and buy when we see their ads later on. One of the greatest challenges for smaller businesses is to establish a name for themselves, and a downturn actually provides an opportunity to do that because it tends to suppress brand building advertising. What a great chance to be able to jump over your competitors, especially if the market leader has curtailed their advertising spending during the downturn.
The Wall Street Journal published an article on January 12th that discussed the experiences of businesses that tried to replace their direct mail marketing with various forms of email marketing. Their trials did not work; they went back to direct mail.
The article discussed some new strategies of sending more personalized messages to a very select list of current and prospective customers. Please see the previous postings titled “Do More Marketing with Less Money” and “Doing More with Less” for some more ideas about how to make the most of mail.
Mail is a great way to reach your customers and prospects with relevant offers and information. Your audience will give you their time and attention to consider what you have to say.