Are you feeling the crunch of the economy? Seeing less and less customers come through your door?  Tons of great businesses have closed up shop, and others have been forced to put the little emergency marketing budgets they have into use.

Yesterday I heard a commercial for a small steel company in town and found myself wondering why they’d spend a few thousands on a radio campaign.  I think it’s simply that they don’t know.  They’re feeling the crunch just like the rest of us, and probably listen to that particular station.  So they put together an ad about how great they are, and paid the radio sales piper.

Reactive instead of proactive.

Reactive advertising doesn't work wellReactive advertising (“sales are way down, we’d better advertise!”) rarely works well.  It’s done in haste, usually without really focusing on the target audience.  Reactive ads are easy to find – they mention ‘what they do’ and ‘heres our sale’.  They beg for immediate response and most often miss the target.  Wasted money.

And now they’re even further in the hole – no customers and their marketing budget is shot.

And it’s not just radio.  Other examples of what I term ‘shotgun advertising’ include billboards, newspaper ads and TV spots (especially these new local spots on shows like ‘Show Me St. Louis – very expensive and provide real short term results).  And I won’t even mention PPC (whoops).

Being Proactive in Good Times and Bad

Proactive advertising should actually be considered an investment instead of an expense.  Putting money and time into building your Facebook Business page is a good example.  Building a following on twitter will help you build your brand – if you do it right (consistently).

SEO falls in this bucket too – it’s a long term investment that doles out great benefits over a long period of time.  A smart SEO campaign will have a very nice ROI which only compounds over time.  Imagine if you ranked for ten great phrases this month. Then next month you ranked for twenty. Then thirty. The first ten are still bringing you customers, and now so are the others.  Keep your foot on the SEO gas and you’ll dominate the web.  And domination means revenue.  Your proactive investment is producing lots of fruit over several seasons.

If you’re business is in trouble now, or you’re starting to feel the economic crunch, do something proactive today that helps you climb out of that hole. Start blogging. Create content.  Read some blogs that give great advice. Attend meetups from business leaders in your community. Invest something and reap the benefits.  Then do another.

There are businesses that have seen record years in 2009 and 2010 because they invested in a long term approach back in 2008.  Had they put that money into a radio ad or TV spot back in 2008, would it still be producing results (and driving sales) today?

2 Responses

  1. Thanks Andy. You’re right, the smart ones are being proactive, the others are freaking out because they weren’t!

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