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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Recession Proof Your Business with Steady Marketing

During down times, many large companies make cutbacks to departments that are considered excessive overhead. In many cases, the marketing department is the first to conduct layoffs and cutbacks in a down economy. For a large multi-million or billion dollar company that may mean releasing half of a 100 person marketing workforce and reducing advertising spending by 50%. Even with a reduction, large organizations can still have a decent amount of marketing to get the job done. Smaller firms should not follow this approach and actually do the complete opposite -keep spending.

Economists are forecasting that we are heading toward a recession (with some saying we are in one already.) Small competitive businesses should not look to cutback on their marketing and advertising. In fact, small businesses should be spending as much as money possible on marketing to keep new business opportunities coming in.

For business-to-business companies the strategy is simple, invest in marketing and advertising to increase/maintain your company's brand awareness. In no way do I suggest that small businesses divert all dollars toward marketing and branding efforts. Instead, small firms should consider maintaining or stepping up existing marketing initiatives. This could mean taking out a few extra targeted ads in print publications or conducting a smart online ad campaign on high traffic website your customers might visit. It also means keeping your sales force strong and providing additional incentives to keep them motivated.

Business-to-consumer firms should offer more incentives to keep customers spending. Perhaps, offer reduced prices on slow moving inventory to generate more sales. Post new banners and signs in store front windows letting your customers know about deals you are offering. Start a Do-It-Yourself email marketing campaign to increase buzz. If you have a nice office or store space, offer your space for a charity event and draft a press release to send to local media.

When it comes to advertising, you may find that publishers might be willing to reduce advertising fees due to a decrease in advertising volume. You might be able to negotiate rates for a series of advertisements that meet your budget. Maximize your ad dollars by placing ads in programs or journals at business events in your area. There are many ways to advertise without breaking the bank, investigate the opportunities that best meet your business goals.

Brand awareness is essential to the ongoing success of your business. Make sure that when the economy is at its worst that you are poised to remain competitive and provide services as you always have. Stay top of mind and make it easy for your customers and clients to continue spending their dollars with your business.

About the Author:
Shakira Brown is an award-winning public relations and marketing professional with nearly 15 years of experience in radio, print, and television journalism and corporate communications. She has worked with high profile news broadcasters, entertainers, moguls, financial experts, small business owners and c-suite level executives in various industries. Learn more about Ms. Brown at and

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