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Mind Your Business

Marketing in a Weak Economy

Thank you for your feedback on our first e-newsletter issue, "Mind Your Business - News for the Small Business Owner", that provided information on taking your business online. It seems that topic generated interest and some very favorable responses. Many of you requested topic areas you feel will benefit our small business community and our plan is to research those topics and provide you with useful content through this e-newsletter.

We are thrilled to become part of your ongoing "reading material" as you, the small business owner, navigate through what will be a very soft economy over the next few months and, use us as a resource for information that is topical and relevant to helping you all succeed.

We encourage you to share this information with colleagues.

Please enjoy this issue which offers the "Top 12 Tips" on Marketing in a Weak Economy. We read this article published by SCORE, Counselors to America's Small Business, and thought you'd like to review this list of tips, as well. We've already included some of these ideas in our own business plan.

Read on...

Marketing in a Weak Economy:
By Daniel Obregon and Joyce L. Bosc
From the pages of Home Business Magazine Online

1. Always think Marketing
Keep a file of good ideas, direct mail samples, great ads, for future use or brainstorming.

2. Target your Market
Read up on industry trends, developments, etc. Know your competition and keep a competitive intelligence file.

3. Develop your Brands
Create new services or products. Update them. Trademark protect them. Try to always keep things fresh so your customers see progress.

4. Build a Team
Establish a marketing/public relations advisory team composed of key personnel in or outside of your organization. Attend seminars, read marketing publications, join listserves. Consult outside marketing professionals to get unbiased opinions.

5. Establish a Budget
How much are you currently spending on marketing? How much do you want to spend? How much can you afford to spend? Determine a percentage of gross income that can be spent on marketing. Try to establish a market presence monthly whether through advertising or public relations.

6. Stay Top of Mind
Publish a newsletter. Create a survey. Develop a Web site. Use uniformed signatures denoting contact information/Web site address and slogan at the bottom of every email you send out. Send postcards or electronic briefs to stay connected and offer value add to clients.

7. Meet the Press
Create a press kit. Be sure to include an online version with executive bios and high-resolution photographs.

8. Service is Job #1
Return calls promptly. Refer callers to others when you're not available. Send out email tips or dedicate a part of your Web site specifically to client needs. Make sure it is easy for people to contact you. Always follow up on calls or messages.

9. Word of Mouth
Hold an open house. Join community organizations and network! Contact speakers at conferences you attend.

10. Advertise
Develop a new or improved logo. Get a memorable phone number, such as "1-800-GOT- DEBT." Include your Web address, email and slogan consistently on all marketing materials.

11. Reach Out
Sponsor a booth at a tradeshow, hold an event at your office or give a speech at a community gathering.

12. Put it in Writing
Write a column for the local newspaper, local business journal or trade publication. Publish an article and circulate reprints.

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