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Unparalleled Opportunity Smart Business 0309


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Don’t miss out on the best time to grow your business. Increased market share
2.5 times the average.

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Unparalleled Opportunity Smart Business 0309

  1. 1. Insights Marketing & Branding Unparalleled opportunity Interviewed by Elizabeth Saunders Don’t miss out on the best time to grow your business. N consider each quarter an investment over ow is the time to win big. If you go the next. We call this momentum market- against the flow, you could experi- ing, as you are building on the momentum ence remarkable opportunities to dif- over each quarter. If your agency or mar- ferentiate yourself. keting manager is proving that their strate- “According to one study, during the last gies are working, be willing to increase the recession, 25 percent of businesses aggres- budget. This approach will yield greater sively increased marketing expenditures returns and not stifle the progress your and, as a result, increased market share marketing investments are making. 2.5 times the average for all businesses in the post-recession period,” says Jonathan How can a business measure marketing ROI? Fisher, CEO of BrandExtract. “Conversely, during expansion periods, 80 percent of Marketing has many measurements, businesses increased advertising budgets ranging from brand awareness to traffic to with no improvement in market share — sales. Generally, we look at the equation because competitors did the same thing!” ratio of leads to prospects to proposals to Smart Business asked Fisher what mar- conversion rates, but every company’s keting strategies can fuel your company’s goals are different: some want to reduce success in today’s economic climate. Jonathan Fisher attrition, others are seeking to reverse a CEO negative trend, and still others are zeroing How does the challenging economy affect BrandExtract in on aggressive growth. An important, marketing? though often neglected, point is that you How can companies in today’s economy need to invest in establishing your current The stronger a company’s brand recogni- evaluate their marketing? baseline for your measurement to have tion, the greater the chance it can win busi- meaning. ness and retain price points. Business own- Aside from looking at the returns, com- ers are demanding returns and tighter Any other points to share with readers? panies should view the cost per reach and value propositions. Consumers are looking conversion, both short and long term. more closely at their purchasing relation- Marketing departments will defend their ■ Beware of discounting fees unless the ships. This means buyers want proven investments by touting numbers like hits price reduction is truly strategic. products or service providers they know on the Web site, but business owners ■ Promote value and benefits over fea- and trust. should look closely at the cost to acquire tures. Cutting marketing budgets in down mar- these leads or hits. By comparing the cost ■ Watch for market demand because it kets is one of the worst moves a company to acquire these returns against each mar- may lead to new services, products or can make. Case study after case study keting channel, you will see a holistic pic- packages. shows that a down market is one of the few ture of the expense of marketing efforts. ■ Talk with your customers and form situations when a company can differenti- focus groups with strategic partners and ate and gain ground on their competition What should be considered in developing a vendors, as they will be your best referral — without increasing last year’s budget. In new plan? sources. tight markets, businesses are able to buy ■ Concentrate media buys and agency media, services, printing and more at dis- Marketing plans are investments and, like services for negotiating power. counts. This translates into increased bot- retirement portfolios, should be diversified. ■ Get creative with balloon contracts and tom-line gains unlike any other time. This means including a mix of the tried-and- multiyear retainer options to save money. true on up to highly creative (such as new Now is a perfect time to negotiate long- Why is using the right strategy important? media) strategies and tactics. Also, plans term contracts at reduced rates. should be geared to the goals and personal- Remember, the decisions you make in a Strategies that yield quality over quantity ity of the company — generic, one-size-fits- down market will have an enormous have proven to be the most effective when all methods rarely work. impact on your brand. If you let it slide you must do more with less. You should One of the most effective methods for now, it will be twice as difficult and expen- also make every effort to increase your developing plans in a down market is to sive to get it back to where it is now. << bond with current customers to protect against competitors. If you have the cor- rect plans in place, you can thwart the JONATHAN FISHER is the CEO of BrandExtract, an integrated branding and communications firm that guides growing companies aggressive tactics of other businesses that by providing strategic branding solutions, marketing communications, advertising, print and interactive services. Reach him at are desperate for business. (713) 942-7959 or or go to the company’s Web site at Insights Marketing & Branding is brought to you by BrandExtract © 2009 Smart Business Network Inc. Reprinted from the March issue of Smart Business Dallas