Yes, You Can Recession-Proof Your Business!
By Bob Martel, president of JMB Marketing Group

Of course, it requires a level of discipline and commitment to marketing that is likely a few notches higher than it is today.

Marketing is, essentially, a mind game played by the conscious mind, trying to reach the subconscious mind, to affect human behavior. Madison Avenue knows this. Edward Bernays taught the ad world, the CIA and US presidents, how to influence opinions (control minds). Some marketers, very few actually, know how this game is really played, and they play it very well. If you think about it, you are trying to hypnotize your customers and prospects to make automatic or easy decisions, to give you their money in exchange for a set of perceived benefits. If you disagree, it may be time for a career change.

With that said, can smart marketing really protect your business from the pending recession that seems to be at our doorstep? Can you achieve growth through smarter marketing in a tough economy? Now is the perfect time to examine where every marketing dollar is invested.

Whether you call it a slowdown in growth or the onset of a recession, you must revisit your marketing game plan to ensure success. The fact is that consumers and businesses are tightening their belts, and you are going to have to work harder to fight for their expendable income.

There are no magic marketing pills to cure what ails your company or to protect you in a recession. Good products and services, delivered as promised – and smart marketing – are your only options. Consider these seven points and fasten your seatbelt.

1. Focus on the gray matter: Marketing is a process of educating and reminding, all toward influencing a buying decision, or reinforcing one that has been made. Do your existing customers know everything you can do for them? What are you doing to retain your best customers? Consistency is key.

2. Learn to dance with your customers: Start doing the bump and up-sell, or the bump and cross-sell. Sell sheets with that mattress! Apple pie with that burger! You get the idea.

3. Nothing beats great performance: Deliver great service and treat the customer like gold. Handwritten thank you notes in a tough economy are very powerful.

4. The mindfulness of marketing will set you free: Go read: Thik Nhat Han’s “Miracle of Mindfulness.” You’ll know what I mean. What are you really selling, and what are your customers really buying from you?

5. Go beneath the waves – like a submarine: Go deep, and understand the true benefits your customer is buying from you. Focus on the benefits of the benefits. This is an article in and of itself. Meditate on this one.

6. It’s not B2C or B2B, it’s P2P: It’s about “People to People” marketing. Companies don’t buy software, people do. It’s just different money—and often times, a different approach.

7. Take a lesson from Mattie Stepanek: Google him. He died young, but taught us how to face the future – and it applies to business as well as life. “Every journey begins with but a small step. And every day is a chance for a new, small step in the right direction. Just follow your Heartsong.”

Understand your customers’ core desires and factor them in to your (emotional) marketing efforts.

Remember, the best marketer wins! And a smart (direct) marketer knows how to use database tools to stay ahead!

---Source: Bob Martel is principal consultant at the JMB Marketing Group. Read more about him in this issue’s “Favorite Author’s Corner.”

P.S. Watch for seven more points from Bob in next week’s newsletter









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