Make sure you’re barking up the right tree!

This blog post is aimed at business managers and entrepreneurs – just to start you thinking about ways to improve your marketing strategies, messages and efforts.

  • How has the recession affected your target market?
  • What tactics within your marketing strategy do you NOW need to change, if you haven’t already?
  • Is it your prices or your target market?
  • Do you work on efficiency, cheaper suppliers, etc?

In today’s dynamic environment, where the consumer has a wealth of choice and loves brands – you may need to focus more on the customer’s ‘experience’ of your service, products, outlets, staff, website, etc.

What do they think? Ask them what they want. Collect email address to find out what they want, and then offer it… and stay in touch.

What is it that you are actually solving for people? The need to wear something nice that makes them feel better? The need for a cold beer? A hassle free way to sort out their tax or legal affairs?

Do they mainly want  the feeling of comfort or pride? Or mainly avoid hassle and pain?

Does what you provide as a business alleviate their fear, or increase their happiness?

You need to be aware of their ‘pain points’ and explain in your marketing literature and website how you can solve their problems or increase their happiness.

Collect and analyse your customers/clients behavioural data and be aware of how consumers have changed in the digital information age – online shopping is getting more and more popular for example. Does your website need an over-haul?

Be aware of how different generations think and react –

  1. Generation Z (born in the mid 1990’s or later – so aged below 17 – also known as the Net Generation)
  2. Generation-Y (were born between 1978-2001 or so – and aged between 18 and 33),
  3. Generation-X (1966-1977 age 34-45),
  4. Baby Boomers (1947-1965 age 46-64) and
  5. Traditionalists (pre 1947 – age 65+)

They all have different buying decision processes:

  1. Generation Z are the internet generation, will always turn to the net, and they were born into globalisation.
  2. Generation Y are used to getting things quickly and probably don’t have mortgages or spouses yet.
  3. Generation X  are young families, into overspending, disposables and materialism.
  4. Traditionalists need a fair amount of trust, will take time in their decisions and prefer to buy things of quality that last.
  5. Baby Boomers have half inherited their traditionalist parents’ principles but are loaded with Generation X aspirations and family responsibilities.

Which are your target market?   Approach and communicate with them appropriately.

The current economic downturn presents some very challenging issues and decisions for businesses. More than ever it’s about the survival of the fittest. You cannot try to run your business like you did before the recession.

Flexible workforces – freelance could work for many occupations – why not?

Rather than cut prices – how about promoting benefits in a more sophisticated way, or add some more features with benefits? If it’s your own business – get the family involved to a greater extent – even an 8 year old can stuff envelopes!

There is much to be made from predicting the future – trends in consumer needs, behaviours and attitudes, enforced conditions. As a business manager or entrepreneur – your empirical skills and knowledge are made very much more powerful when you also use PREDICTION. Try it when you lie awake at night.

Surviving or even thriving in a recession starts with some great ideas and some well researched and applied business and marketing strategies. Don’t launch a product just because you like it; make sure you know there is a need for it in sufficient quantities for you to make a decent profit; and ensure you have the budget to promote it.

Thinking positive isn’t enough – you need to work smart, be pro-active and get things done too.

It doesn’t matter how hard you bark – if the squirrel’s in a different tree you better stop and find the right one.

If you need some help with marketing – give us a call – see what we can do for you.