iMedia Connection came out today with a great article by Guy Maser that talks about getting your company through hard times in the economy. Although his article is talking more about marketing in general, and not about Internet marketing specifically, there are lessons to be learned here to help market your website. Maser outlines 7 strategies to consider when you’re trying to make the most out of your marketing dollar:
Get Targeted – make sure you’re not spending money marketing to folks who aren’t buying. Running ads on MySpace when your target demographic is 34-50 year olds, probably not as targeted a media buy as you can make.
Measure Performance – Online marketing without analytics is gambling money away. Pay the money to someone who has time and experience to understand what your analytics are telling you and target the most profitable segments first. If you’re managing your own account, take a look at my SearchEngineWatch.com article – “Taking the Fear Out of Web Analytics for your Small Business”
Think Integration – don’t focus efforts on 7 different media outlets. Consolidate time and target one outlet that gives you exposure in multiple markets.
Maintain Frequency and Consistency -Cutting budget is the last thing you want to do. Instead use that budget to maintain the visibility your potential guests are looking for. Pull dollars from less profitable pursuits and put them towards proven money makers. Use stable economic times for experimentation and hard economic times to maintain by focusing on proven pursuits. That being said, there is always room for a calculated gamble. If something comes up that has a great amount of potential, it might be worth moving into, because later it might not be available to you. Vendors and media outlets offer discounts on new programs when times are tough for them, taking advantage of one of these deals might be the catalyst for growth and expansion in your own company.
Push and Pull Your Way to Success - Push marketing consists of direct mail, email marketing, etc. Pull marketing is pulling visitors in from directories, search engine listings and paid advertising. By finding a media partner that already has your target audience captive, you can piggyback on their good success by advertising with them and gaining some much needed bookings.
Focus on Quality over Quantity – When shoppers are being picky, the hardest thing to overcome is a bad review. If you’re offering high-quality service, a shopper who has a little money to spend is more willing to pay the rate you’re asking if you’re showing them your service is unsurpassed.
Seek Assistance from Media Partners – In most cases, handling your online marketing yourself is more cost-prohibitive than paying an expert to do it for you. If you need to concentrate on providing service and maintaining excellence, hovering over your paid ads for 2 hours a day is not letting you do what you need to do to manage your business. Get some help to realize the most return on investment for each marketing dollar spent.
This was a great article and I suggest everyone take a look. Keep in mind, economic struggles are mostly temporary – and compromising quality and service to save a buck will definitely hurt you in the long run. Don’t let your Web site maintenance lapse, don’t sacrifice your visibility in search engines, keep your marketing consistent and you’ll come out the other side of that dark tunnel in good shape.
For more information on marketing in a down economy read:
Do Not Cut Online Marketing Funds in Face of Recession by John W. Ellis
Think Twice Before Ending PPC Advertising by Carrie Hill