With all of the looming "noise" out there in the media world about recession and decreased consumer spending, I must first stand up and say that perhaps the media spin creates more consumer angst than the issues at hand? (ok maybe not more – but you get the point).
Consumers are still spending, and my guess and according to many others, it will be like it has always been – "the strong will survive". An economic downturn is not the time to cut spending on Marketing, it is a time to shave spending and allocate resources to the most cost effective and successful marketing channels. What is a Marketer to do besides hide and hope it's over soon?
1. Focus on ROI and best performing channels driving qualified traffic and SALES (use tools such as Google Analytics to tell you everything you want to know and more about how your website is used and found)
2. Be at the right place at the right time (add call-to-action to your Website, Paid Search campaigns) and avoid static content. Update often.
3. Understand how users are currently finding your site and expand your presence on those sites with special offers, expanded listings, banner ad placement etc.
4. Try engaging in some Online Community sites such as Facebook. A Facebook page if properly done can get your brand message in front of 300 of your closest friends, and another 300 of theirs!
5. Leverage all of your online marketing channels including; search engine placement, paid search channels, testimonial and community websites, intermediaries or re-sellers, portal websites that drive traffic to your site, Google local positioning, Online PR, etc.
6. Once again – use Analytics tools to understand what is working – and go from there!
Now more than ever it is time for marketers to really understand their Web strategy because in a time of economic stress, the fish at the top of the pond will be the ones that are fed first. (maybe that is a bad example as the fish that are fed are most likely also the ones that get caught – but again – you get my point).
I think I will avoid the daily newsfeeds for just a few days…perhaps when I get back the media will have decided to soften the blow a little instead of blowing it out of the water (and directly into my face!)About the Authors: Patricia Brusha is the co-founder of www.acoupleofchicks.com - an Internet Marketing Company focused on travel and tourism, and Online Revealed Canada – the Tourism e-Marketing Conference produced in association with Yahoo! Canada, and the first inaugural Online Revealed Caribbean Conference to be held this Fall in San Juan Puerto Rico. She has spent 26 years working in the Hospitality Industry in the United States and Canada in the fields of Sales, Hotel Marketing, Internet Distribution and Revenue Management. Together, the "Chicks" have published over 25 articles, produced a successful online marketing Blog; www.ideahatching.com , launched www.chicksaway.com – a social media portal for women who travel, and have worked with such notable brands as Marriott International, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and Yahoo! Their popular e-marketing workshops have also lead to the upcoming book focused on the "Chicks" non-intimidating approach to marketing online.