Tuesday, 13 January 2009

5 Cost-Effective Ways to Minimise the Impact of the Credit Crunch

2009 is set to be an interesting year. Most companies are tightening their belts and re-evaluating all their outgoings. Marketing is more important than ever in these credit crunch times, but it’s worth re-assessing your tactics to ensure you’re getting the most value for money from your campaigns. Here are 5 cost-effective tactics to consider:

1. PR

PR is one of the most economic ways to reach a large audience and creates the perception that the company is constantly active and progressing. It’s also very relevant in this time of cost-cutting as David Michie suggests, in his book 'The Invisible Persuaders: How Britain's Spin Doctors Manipulate the Media’. “During the recession of the early nineties most British companies had to cut down on large advertising budgets and turned more of their attention to other aspects of the marketing mix. They were pleased to discover the impact of a well-directed PR campaign.”

2. Online marketing (website and Pay-per-click campaign)

David Hallerman of eMarketer claimed that while search marketing is not entirely immune to the negative effects of the economic crisis, it can be said to be "recession-resistant" and as a result will grow by 14.9 per cent in 2009. In the UK alone, performance-based marketing such as Pay-per-click services, makes up 85 per cent of all spending on internet advertising. Therefore make sure that once you receive visitors to your website, your site is effective (i.e. is it easy to buy from you? is it easy to contact you?).

3. Review all marketing and PR you carried out in 2008

Analyse how successful each action was to see what gained the biggest conversion rate and which campaign brought you the most profit. In previous times of economic uncertainty businesses may have cut marketing and sales, however recently John Dunsmure, managing director of the BCC (British Chambers of Commerce) suggests, “Firms should be focusing on a number of practical areas during the credit crunch, including their business plans and sales, marketing and customer service strategies”.

4. Contact previous clients

You are likely to already have a good understanding of them and know which clients would be worth contacting again. Go to them with a new proposition or new service, or merely to see if their needs have changed. Rhonda Adams, author of ‘The Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies’ suggests that “it costs 2 to 40 times as much to acquire a customer as it does to keep one” so former customers can be a great source for new sales.

5. Additional business from existing clients

Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist and political sociologist, developed Pareto’s Law or the 80:20 Rule, which in business, suggests that 80% of your profits will come from 20% of your clients. It’s therefore very important to keep those relationships strong as repeat business leads to consistent profits and long term results. You could also look at ways at gaining additional business from your top clients.

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