Thursday, August 20, 2009

Staying Relevant in a Tough Economy

c21’s Sharon Goldmacher shared the stage with Patrick Fitzmaurice of The Capre Group and Moira Vetter of Modo Modo Agency at a recent American Marketing Association luncheon. Richard Warner of What’s Up Interactive moderated the panel, which addressed how small businesses can effectively market in the tough economy. Click to hear the full hour-long podcast, including valuable tips such as:

· View the current economic climate as an opportunity to invest and experiment – you’ll be surprised how quickly your competition will zoom past you when the economy recovers if you’ve dramatically cut your marketing efforts.
· Treat yourself as a client – test the techniques you’re selling. This gives team members first-hand knowledge and demonstrates that your company walks the walk.
· Consider developing a board of advisors to assist with business development and major operational decisions. An outside perspective can be invaluable.
· People look for capabilities; they hire people – a company’s employees are a differentiator. Communicate not just what you do and how you do it, but who is going to do it.
· If you pursue new business but don’t win the account, ask why. You can’t change your pitch unless you know why it wasn’t effective.
· Focus on a product. What “space” do you own? Everyone can be a generalist – identify your core capabilities and communicate them.
· BusinessWeek reported that 18% of Fortune 500 companies are reducing salaries across the board and 24% are considering it. Be clear and transparent about business revenue and forecasts – communicate openly with employees to alleviate fears and dissipate rumors.
· Develop your business pipeline with a mix of industry and trade involvement, social media, e-mail marketing and other tactics where you can measure audience response.
· Industry associations are ideal for sharing best practices and gaining skill building opportunities. Trade associations can get you in front of customers through networking, white papers, speaking engagements and more. Don’t fall into the trap of finding yourself in a pond with your peers, but not your buyers.

To learn about other upcoming AMA events, click here.

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