Are we in a recession? It’s a technical issue for the economists to debate, but it is clearly a tough economy for many of us. So, what should you differently in this environment?

Here are a few thoughts on what to do differently:

1. Advertise. If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that I am very critical of advertising (lots of money for little reward). Yet, in a down market, people cut back on advertising budgets. This creates an opportunity for those who continue to advertise since their messages have a greater likelihood to be seen or heard.

2. Don’t raise prices. Instead focus on increasing value. You can get the price increases later. During a recession customers become more value oriented and thus can be fickle. Give them reasons to stay with your product or service.

3. Offer price promotions and special incentives. New customers can be more easily lured away from the competition during tough times. Do it.

4. Re-evaluate the design and usability of your website. Make it easy for people to do business with your firm buy having a friendly website which helps them solve their problems. A good rule of thumb is to review your site for relevance and usability every 12-18 months with a redesign a likely outcome

5. Search Engine Optimization. Consider the addition of a SEO consultant to help optimize your site for the search engines. It will be money well spent.

6. Exploit your competitors’ weaknesses. It is legend that a recession is a great time to take market share. Your strength could be a key message in your advertising message.

7. Kill low performing products. Don’t waste your marketing dollars on products that don’t sell. Prune your product line.

8. Invest in social media. While the commercial use of Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter has been modest, forecasts are that this is how we will communicate and sell to our customers in the near future. Don’t hesitate.

Recession? Don’t let it stop you from marketing.

John Bradley Jackson
© Copyright 2008 All rights reserved.

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