design and marketing blog

Recession Marketing Tactics:
If You Want To Survive The Recession, Throw Out Your Marketing Training Manual

In the past year, I have met with many clients who "know their customer" via corporate training and marketing manuals, but have no idea how those customers behave today, especially online. Please, throw those manuals away. You'll make more money. Let me explain: In your "Marketing Manual" you most likely were trained to understand your "target." At the time of printing the information contained in them may have been accurate. But times have changed dramatically.

Here's the problem: If your target market is 18-49, a manual written in 2002 would be targeting the behaviors of that demo in an entirely different marketplace. Marketing a "demo" is useless unless you understand their behaviors TODAY.

In the year 2002, your target didn't have access to GPS systems via their phone. In fact, until July 2007, it was inconceivable that you could sit in movie theater with your phone and search the internet to find a restaurant, make reservations and even map it before the lights dimmed.

Often I sit down with a client and we re-discover their target market together. We map out their target in terms of their behaviors in today's market place. Once that is done, creating strategic marketing plans to increase revenue is a snap.
It is helpful to reach out to floor staff for this process. People with day-to-day interactions with your customer can reveal a lot about your best customer’s current behaviors. Once you get a clear picture of your perfect customer and what he or she does, go ahead and name her! (Personas have been used for decades in advertising).

Use this persona to help you make your marketing decisions. Ask your team, "Does Sally text or talk on her cell phone? Did Sally bring in a mailer or would she prefer to show a text message coupon to the cashier? Hmm. Does Sally even have a "land line home phone?" If not, then she won't have a yellow pages either." Since Sally is more tech-oriented, then investing in an email/text campaign would make more sense than printing mailers, paying for postage and so on.

Now you have some solid ideas of where to reach Sally and where not to waste your marketing budget. This is how you get a great ROI. Strategic thinking and smart placement.

Technology is changing so quickly, historical data and research is becoming outdated before it's printed. You need to do your own research to survive in today's ever changing market-and do it often. Perfect your skills of observation and intuition--or find someone to do it for you.


It is the one thing I say that leaves clients jaw-droppingly baffled. Websites have changed. (At least the effective ones have). When websites were first created, companies used them as glorified yellow page ads. It was a way to find out where they were located, who they did business with and offered the opportunity to brag a bit.

Times have changed. Consumers drive online behavior and they want to find what they are looking for quickly. They don’t want to know that you played hockey in the 8th grade or that you married your childhood sweetheart. They want to know if you can meet their needs quickly, easily and feel confident that you are the right company to do it.

The thing is, you may be loosing your fair market share because you still think your website is YOUR web site. If your website features dated pictures, old technology, confusing layout, dated copywriting and a color palate from the 1980’s, and is full of “industry speak” you don’t have a chance at growing your business. Especially in today’s economic climate.

Even though we are in a recession, people are still spending money. In many cases they are spending just as much as they used to--they are just more particular about who they spend it with.

For example, a double bed in the Caribbean for $129 a night (breakfast included) is a place to sleep on vacation. A sleek, modern suite with Egyptian cotton sheets and a sweeping view of the sun setting on the ocean from your room for $129, (breakfast included) is where they will spend their money.

With the internet, people do their own research and make decisions at 2:00 in the morning and the $129 (breakfast included) hotel with the best website wins. In fact, they may even pay $159 if you can show them why it’s worth an extra $30 a night.That’s where research during website development comes in handy.

If you want to survive the recession, you have to put your best foot forward on line. A great website is not just pretty, it is strategically created to be a 24 hour, 7 days a week, no holidays or sick days genius of a salesperson capable of closing the deal long after you’ve closed for the night.

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