Let’s face it. The current inconsistent economic system has created an atmosphere where many of us flip flop between hope and despair, faster than you can turn a pancake. Businesses may be more concerned with just staying afloat rather than how much they can push forward. In other words, a lot of us are in survival, not growth.
A 2009 Spencer Stuart survey of more than 300 senior-level marketers reported that 55% said emphasis on a short-term response to the economic downturn has led them to neglect long-term strategy.1 If you’re in the same boat, how can you pull your company back up to making decisions based on a profitable long term strategy? Here’s an idea.
Whenever a new President is elected in our country it’s an opportunity to believe that good change might be on the horizon (I’m not referring to just Obama and making a partisan comment here, I’m talking about when any new President takes office). No matter what your political preference is, why don’t we all use the upcoming Presidents Day as a cue for renewed optimism – an opportunity to shift gears and start moving forward again.
1. Profitable Attitude
Take a hard look at your attitude and be willing to let go of areas that are holding you back. When you think, “This will never work,” you’re bound to be right. When you take deliberate steps to view things differently it breaks you from the routine and helps you look at your business with a fresher perspective.1
- Tell your story. In Hawaii they would call this, “Talking story.” Every business has its own unique story to tell. Weave that story into everything you do because it will help attract customers that are a good fit.
- Solve puzzles. Think of your issue as a puzzle to solve. Many of us love to do crosswords, Sudoku or other forms of brain challenging games. Turn your company issues into a puzzle-to-be- solved game.1
- Think of your competitors as helpful folk who illuminate potential areas of growth or areas you should stay away from. In order to do this you need to stay on top of what your competitors are doing. Every time your competitors make a move, determine if that is an area where you can compete. If you can, do it, and do it better.
- Don’t underestimate the power of marketing. If someone asked you, what is Presidents’ Day – what would you say? A national holiday for the celebration of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays? Well, that is incorrect. Washington’s birthday is a federal holiday (the third Monday in February). Some states have formal holidays for Lincoln’s birthday and some do not. Therefore, President’s Day was a way for calendar makers to acknowledge the February birthdays of Lincoln and Washington without having to worry about which states had formal holidays for Lincoln and which did not.3 Then, marketing came into play. “Commercial outlets and retailers broadened the term to “Presidents Day” (plural) and marketed the heck out of it…slashing prices on fabulous items for the infamous Presidents Day sales across America!”1 And there you have it. Never be your own worst enemy by underestimating the power of marketing.
2. Profitable Segmentation
Ever heard the definition of insanity? It’s repeating the same behavior over and over with the expectation of getting different results. Don’t throw your money at the marketing wall and keep expecting it to stick – you need to know and go for your high value target market(s).
- If you do not have a clear and present direction for the group(s) that gives you the best ROI (return on investment), it’s time you did. Use financial metrics (such as spending, customer lifetime value, products and services purchased) for each customer2 so you’re marketing only to those who can potentially give you the best ROI.
- Is a potential customer open to your brand or predisposed to dislike it? If it is the latter, forget about them. They will cost you too much in the short term and long term.
- Happy buyers give you a better ROI because they are more likely to tell their friends, which means overall, they are less costly to you. For the customers who are a good fit with your company’s value proposition, do what you can to keep them happy.
- New products can provide growth. Ask your best customers what new products or services they are interested in rather than just creating a new product/service and trying to find a new customer base.2
- Know when buyers are price sensitive. Marketingprofs research has found that “price is the primary consideration for only 15% to 35% of buyers in most categories. That finding suggests that knowing which buyers are relatively price insensitive could provide a solid competitive advantage.”2
3. Profitable Campaigns
Because we’re doing away with the old and bringing in the new, purposely build some new tactics into your 2010 campaigns. What worked for you last year, or even yesterday, may not work today.1 In other words, you need to be willing to be nimble. Here are some ideas to kick around.
- Creative Emails. If you don’t have an opt in email campaign, create one. Then scour your employees’ brains for innovative ways to communicate and present offers – ways that connect with and suit your customers.
- Direct mail still works. If you haven’t tried in awhile it’s time you did. You probably have a nice contingent of customers that would still rather read a postcard then open an email.
- Social media – who uses it? Well, you, for one. Have you ever posted pics on Facebook or sent a text message? Most people use some form of social media whether they call it that or not. Now ask yourself, how can I use social media as part of my marketing campaigns?
- Test, test, test. Any time you send out a campaign, test some aspect of it to find out what content and images give you the best bang for buck. So, compare open rates for email subject lines, images on postcard response, Twitter content clicks, and anything else that can help you fine tune what you say and how you say it.
Happy Presidents’ Day! Go forth, be nimble, and prosper.
If you’re looking for some fresh new Presidents’ Day Templates to get some of your promotions started, check out our templates here.
- Ten Steps to Clear a Passage Through Today’s ‘Frozen’ Economy
- Plan B: Seven Back-to-Basics Questions to Ask About Your Buyers to Drive Growth
- The Honest-Abe Truth about President’s Day