Market Flat Out in 2012

Companies and communities nationwide are in a quandary. While there are numerous reports of fresh business activity, there seems to be just as many reports that there is sluggish or no growth. So, what are marketers to do?

Having been through several recessions, I can tell you that smart marketers historically enjoy much quicker recoveries that those who continue to procrastinate. While snoozers sit on the sideline, waiting and wondering what to do, the smart planning, risk-takers move forward and kick butt.

Target marketing vs shotgun blast
In a rapidly expanding economy, shotgun marketing might work. Just shooting at anything and everything that moves is bound to yield positive results when targets are aplenty. In slower times though, a highly-targeted approach is much more sensible.

Identify your target
There’s a huge difference between a well thought out target list and a wish list. I regularly run into company owners who include a particular industry target list when they have no experience in that industry at all. Similarly, I hear from economic developers that they want to target a specific industry, such as pharmaceutical research, when their workforce clearly cannot support such jobs. They’d love to have the high-paying jobs but it’s just not a fit.
It makes sense to conduct a thorough assessment of skills and assets in order to identify the most logical target audience. Logic will always be more sensible than wishful thinking.

Market with passion
With your target audience clearly identified, it’s now time to develop an aggressive marketing plan that will generate results. This is not the time to be timid. With the economy starting to show signs of growth, you’d better get with the program or your competitors are going to take your marbles.

Why advertise? Everybody knows us!
Really? Being known is not enough, these days. Remember the old line, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease?” The same is true of marketers. Even if you’re well-known, a competitor can get a lot of attention just by being aggressive. A few loud competitors can overwhelm your silence and boot you from consideration. Additionally, in a tough economy, you need to remind your clients and prospects, the ones who know you, that you’re still in business. At a time when many companies have closed their doors, the silent ones may be thought to be out of business.

Now is the time to get started!
As 2012 gets rolling, now is the time to conduct a serious evaluation of your brand and your marketing program and to determine how best to move forward. Please feel free to contact me any time to discuss an intelligent plan for the next year. Together, we’ll identify logical target audiences and develop a plan to effectively tell your story in an impactful way.

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