Make an Impact

Marketing Insight to Grow your Business

How are you doing? November 19, 2008

chicken-little

Bailouts. Tumbling stocks. Rising unemployment rates. I don’t want to get all Chicken Little on you but it really does feel like the sky is falling. Ready to hear something positive for a change? Uncertain times like these offer a real opportunity for relationship building not only with your prospects and clients but in the community where you live and work as well.

Have you taken the time to ask the people around you how they’re doing? Have you thought about whether there is anything that you can do to help them? I don’t mean offering a 10% discount on your services. I mean taking a moment to reach out and let folks know that you genuinely care about THEIR success during these tumultuous times. You may not get instant gratification in the form of a spike in sales but you will build and strengthen your relationships. And that is the key to healthy, long-term growth.

Apply this concept to your community as well. Schedule a half-day for you and your employees to volunteer at a struggling local charity. Pull together and remember how it feels to work as a team rather than as a boss and a group of walking, talking potential pink slips. Your company and your community will be stronger for it.

A kind gesture on a rainy day will be remembered when the sun comes out again. After all, relationship marketing without the relationship is just plain marketing.

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Evolve Your Marketing Mix or Risk Extinction September 22, 2008

Times they are a changin’. And, so are the dynamics of the marketing landscape. According to Mike Iaccarino, CEO of Epsilon, a leading marketing services firm, “In this economic climate, businesses are seeking accountability and measurable results. Data driven marketing is an increasingly important component of corporate marketing campaigns as senior marketers employ sophisticated segmentation strategies to recruit and retain customers.”

In a survey conducted by Epsilon in August 2008, 175 U.S. Chief Marketing Officers and marketing executives of some of the largest brands in the nation gave us a peek at their evolving marketing mix. The shift to digital marketing is evident- new media in the form of social computing and blogs is getting increasing attention from businesses:

  • Social computing (including word of mouth, social networking sites, viral advertising, etc.) was the most popular emerging channel with 42% of marketing executives expressing interest in adding it to their marketing mix.
  • Blogs were the second most popular emerging channel: 35% of marketing executives want to pursue blogs and 19% already use blogs
  • Almost one-third of CMOs mentioned Podcasting as an area of interest: 31% are interested in adding Podcasting to their marketing mix and 18% already have.
  • Mobile devices also elicited interest: 29% are interested in Mobile Devices (Phones/PDAs) and 22% have added them to their marketing mix.

Interesting responses. These execs know that when budgets are tight accountability is key. If marketing is an expense that you are considering cutting it’s probably because you can’t justify the cost. And, that’s a sign that it’s time to evolve your approach.

Thanks to Larry at Epsilon for sending me the link to the article.

 

Why Being Irrelevant Could Be Your Marketing Downfall September 15, 2008

“Make yourself relevant”. A nugget of advice that sounds simple enough. So, why do few companies actually utilize this tip to drive sales? Because being relevant requires work.

You can’t distribute the same marketing brochure that you created half a decade ago to every segment of your market and expect it to make an impact.

You can’t email a case study highlighting a law firm’s success with your product or service to doctors and IT guys and expect your message to resonate.

And you certainly can’t speak to a prospect amidst today’s economic climate in the same language that you did 5 years ago and expect to reach them. Watch any car commercial currently airing and you’ll see the art of being relevant in action… “Prices at the pump leaving you penniless? Buy a Honda this weekend and get free fuel for the life of your vehicle!” A message like this is much more likely to strike a chord with consumers who are feeling the squeeze at the pump than a generic commercial focused on the performance of Honda vehicles.

Customizing communication based on elements such as the particular needs of a group of prospects or the current state of the economy is your ticket to being relevant. And being relevant is essential to the success of any marketing strategy.

 

When Everything Goes Wrong April 22, 2008

So, here I am after a 2 month hiatus from blogging. What can I say? Being struck by lightning while camping and dealing with the near 3 week hospitalization of my father set me back a bit. In the realm of excuses, you could say I’ve got some pretty solid ones. But, at some time during our lives and careers we all do. For days, weeks and months it may seem like nothing is going right. You feel like you’re in an uphill race wearing greased soles…nowhere to go but down.

These are the turning points that can make or break a person (and a company). It’s how we handle the punches that life throws at us that makes us who we are. Right now, companies around the nation are flailing as the economy dives. The pressure of layoffs is eminent. Morale is sinking. And, just as I witnessed personally, it’s when the chips are down that weaknesses rear their ugly heads. But, something else happens during these times- the true strengths of your company shine through. When put to the test you’ll gain a newfound clarity of what works and what needs work. And, your outlook will be uplifted when you realize you’ve been granted the opportunity to become a survivor.