What to Do With Marketing When The Economy Strikes

When the bottom fell out on Wachovia last week, we can bet a boatload of companies decided to jump ship on their current marketing plans. As Ad Age and any marketing professional will advise you, though, don’t throw out your life jacket. While budget-cutting may seem like the best option for keeping your business afloat, abandoning your marketing because of the economy is suicide. You want to let consumers see you now more than ever, or you run the risk of fading away. Ad Age prescribes quite a contrary option, charging companies to become “even more creative” with their existing marketing. Your consumers are changing, tightening and even panicking. Offer them something they haven’t heard before, especially from you in the past. Empathize with their struggles and align yourself with their greatest concerns right now. Most likely, you’re feeling the same things they are, so it will be genuine. Position yourself as a mainstay in consumers’ lives, one that weathers any economical storm and bends, instead of breaks, under pressure. Of course, it might cost you but losing your customer base will ruin you. That’s where the creative part comes in: using innovative marketing methods doesn’t always have to break the bank. The Internet has crossed age, race and class barriers in becoming a consumer resource, and with promotions like e-mail newsletters, company site upgrades and online business directories, companies can access this marketing medium at little or no cost.

It’s important to recognize that these are not the consumers of the Depression days–social anxiety advertising and fear marketing won’t will these consumers into submission. Positive, creative and down-to-earth marketing will ring true with consumers, so let your message break through all this economic cacophony rather than lose your voice altogether.

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