Thursday, April 2, 2009

Eight Ways To Help Your Company Succeed in this Economy

In this economic downturn, many companies are still spending. To capture this new business and gain market share, market your company wisely. Focus on markets that show the most promise and maintain marketing frequency and consistency there. Understand what your customers are dealing with in this economy and how their buying processes and mentality are affected by it.

Eight Strategies For Success:

1. Communicate: Create Event Equipment Spec Sheets and Alternative Equipment Use Sheets related to the types of events that your current and prospective customers are working on and may need your equipment and services for. Put yourself in their shoes to figure out what is most important to them…being green: saving energy and reducing waste…or saving time, saving money, etc. List these benefits in the sheets mentioned above to gain greater acceptance. Then put these documents in their hands.

2. Get to the decision maker: Your customers are closely watching the costs for events and deciding which events they will even continue hosting. Discover who the higher-level decision maker is and appeal to their financial concerns. Explain the return on investment their event will create for their company. Show financial reasons for buying/renting your equipment/services. For example, how does working with your company improve their image or brand, save them money, or foster team building in their company?

3. Show value or savings: Become more important to prospects with limited budgets who have had to cut back on Event Services by showing value or cost savings you can provide in terms of customer support, flexible delivery and pick up, complimentary event design services or other value-added services.

4. Look at all your markets: If you have multiple markets you sell to, reduce the time and money spent on the markets that are not doing well in this economy (Car dealerships, Computer Parts Makers, Computer Systems) and spend more time and energy on industries that have the money to spend (biotechnology/ pharmaceuticals, utilities/energy, aerospace/defense).

5. Discover new markets: Your event equipment and services may be a good fit in a market where you don’t have a large presence and where companies are spending. Rewrite marketing materials in ways that appeal to these prospects. Use industry specific e-newsletters that are aimed directly at prospects in those markets. Explore new ways your products and services can be used in these new markets.

6. Frequency and consistency: Get on your prospects’ short list for event projects being researched now. Maintain frequency and consistency in your marketing so you will be found whenever prospects are searching for event equipment and services you offer. Keep your message clear and useful to your prospects and the repetition over time will cement your company in their minds.

7. Use “PUSH” and “PULL” Marketing: Push marketing: direct snail-mail, e-mail marketing, and e-newsletters that reach out to customers and prospects. Pull marketing: searchable online catalogs showing equipment/services, online directories, Web sites, and search engines your customers and prospects use when looking for information, products and services like those you offer. Find and advertise in media aimed at your target prospects that offer both push and pull marketing you can take advantage of.

8. Do Not Waste your marketing dollars: Do not waste money where your audience isn’t looking (print ads, trade shows and other traditional media) these are not as effective as they used to be. Customers and prospects are Internet savvy and are looking online. This is where you will find them and win their business. An online presence will put you in front of potential customers whenever they are ready to look for your event equipment and services (even at 2am). Internet activities from prospects are measurable: you can see how many clicks they made and how many conversions there were. Using this information, you can reallocate your marketing dollars on the fly and get immediate feedback. You needn’t spend thousands of dollars to make this happen. Learn about SEO (search engine optimization) and apply the techniques (or get some help from a knowledgeable friend) to get your company noticed on the web.