Yes, times are hard right now. But that does not mean you should hoard all of your assets and be afraid to invest in marketing. The slow economy provides a great opportunity for smaller businesses to get their name out, but they have to do it in smart, innovative ways. A prime example: social media marketing.
In Shop.com’s study, the 2009 State of Retailing Online, the company found that a quarter of retailers are actually increasing funding for online development during the recession. Furthermore, they found that 80 percent of retailers surveyed believed online retail channels to be better suited to withstand economic downturn.
This means, though being somewhat counterintuitive, that Internet outlets for retail companies are much more stable than other channels, and vastly more cost-effective than all other forms of marketing and advertising. Consumers are using the Internet as their primary resource to shop and get information, and as a business, you have to meet them on their medium of choice.
American Express Open Forum cited a perfect example of the power of online and social marketing at work. A blogger for the site followed the story of Utah jeweler Goldsmith Co. Jewelers, a family-owned business with just one location. Through communicating with bloggers, establishing an online presence, and offering incredible deals at a few key events, the company was able to exponentially increase its traffic and exposure seemingly overnight. Bloggers were raving about the jewelry on independent sites and social media giants like Twitter and Facebook. Search engines began to list Goldsmith Co. among their top results for jeweler searches. The company’s owners even got invited on a radio talk show and the evening news.
So go on America, continue to invest in marketing – just do it efficiently and wisely. Use all of your available advantages, whether you choose traditional forms of media or newer, emerging ones. My suggestion: use both! An efficient, integrated marketing communications plan will spread your message in ways that you may have not experienced to date.