As you well know, now is
the time to re-organize many aspects of your business, from operations to
overhead to sales and marketing. Our
industry is exceptionally unique in providing integrators with endless resources
to learn from. These sources range from
trade articles, educational classes, manufacturer webinars, industry
newsletters and websites and trade consultants.
Your endless stream of
valuable information, many times offered for free, could possibly be worth more
than an advanced business degree. As a
company owner, currently thriving in business or struggling to make ends meet,
you can learn from these generous service providers by simply taking time to consider
how new ideas can be incorporated into your business.
Today’s educational topic is
Your Business in Tough Times
Marketing Your Business in Tough Times
Many of you are now
scrambling to generate new business and get jobs on the books. Most certainly, marketing
your company is
on the forefront of your mind.
Ironically enough, now that you need to spend money promoting your
business, you have fewer dollars to work with. But by doing nothing to conserve money, you will only worsen the
situation. You need to be of the belief
that you’re in business for the long haul, so you need to work towards the
The following three tips
will guide you through a process to navigate this tough time.
Determine which target market(s) are REALLY worth pursuing
- Determine which target market(s)
are REALLY worth pursuing
- Identify how you want to
COMMUNICATE with your target market(s)
- Establish who will IMPLEMENT your
You have a lot of places to
go for new business, including referrals, repeat business, architects, interior
designers and builders. Today, many of
you are also turning to the commercial market as a source of income. But as you know, even when your business was
doing well, you still had limited resources to continuously contact all these
Over the past few years,
you’ve most likely built some traction somewhere. Now is the time to invest, or re-invest in developing that
clientele. This would almost certainly
include repeat business and referrals.
If you worked with tract builders, you should focus on getting their
homebuyers to purchase upgrades, because supposedly these homeowners already
know something about your services, and / or the options available for their
home….assuming you properly co-marketed with the builder like you should have
done all along.
how you want to COMMUNICATE with your target market(s)
No matter who your target
market is, assemble a few ideas that describe how you want to communicate with
your customer. This includes a process
for repeat communication. Determine
what you are going to do this month, next month and the months ahead.
Some marketing mechanisms
only need to be created once, but yet will last a long time. Better yet, these tools are cost effective
over the long haul. Some of these
marketing mediums include vehicle wraps,
will last for years and can been seen 24/7.
The same goes for websites
, If you
have a storefront, consider wrapping the entire window. But before you do, check your local city
rules and get any permits if needed.
Next you will need to
determine how you want to reach to your customers. For example, you might ant to conduct a direct mail
, send electronic
, or conduct special events
in your showroom. Whatever your
strategy, draft an outreach plan, which should include at least the following
of marketing material you want to develop
you plan to develop your
marketing tools or activities
At what point
you plan to use your
marketing tools or conduct activities
you plan to use your
marketing tools or carry out the event
a budget. Be aware of your short-term and long-term
who will IMPLEMENT your communication plan
Now the real work comes
into play here. Think of a marketing
campaign as a gym membership. Just
because you have access to the equipment doesn’t necessarily mean you will get
the desired results. You will need to make continuous effort over the long
haul, which obviously takes considerable takes time and energy.
Determine who will be
responsible for initiating your marketing campaign and overseeing it. Don’t
become shortsighted once you land a couple new jobs, as you’re out of the woods
yet. The economy is a slow moving
ship. Provide ownership to that
individual responsible for ensuring the success of a long-term campaign.
In summary, pick a few
potential target markets that are most likely to buy from you, or partner with
you in the case of architects and interior designers. Develop a thorough plan, both immediate and long-term. Calculate budgets. Create your marketing tools and determine who will implement the
campaign. Exercise regularly.
About Eclipse Marketing
and Leslie Stevens
Eclipse Marketing provides professionally designed and
cost-effective marketing tools to electronics integrators. The company also provides Member Marketing
tools to CEDIA, PARA, TechHome and NASBA.
Leslie Stevens, President of Eclipse Marketing and author of this
article, can be reached at leslie@eclipsemarketing,net
or by calling 949.363.5340. You may also visit Eclipse Marketing at www.eclipsemarketing.net
to view affordable marketing tools available.