CEDIA View: Effective Down Market Promotions
Tuesday, February 3, marked the kickoff of CEDIA’s 2009 Survival of the Fittest Webinar series. The attendance was overwhelming as participants listened to Molly Gibson, president of Overflow Marketing, Inc., present “Effective Down Market Promotions.”
Gibson impressed upon us the ever-changing conditions—what worked yesterday may not work today or tomorrow. “Promoting in a recession means going from global to local; from zip codes to doorknobs,” she said. “As small business owners, you can’t waste a single penny, so it’s time to stop doing campaigns for everyone and start focusing on someone.”
Gibson went on to say that businesses need to change the spin—find better ways to speak directly to the customer and directly connect with the customer’s emotions. She said there are four steps to Spin Searching: research, define, target and create.
In the research phase, you need to find other successful high-end service providers of similar but not competing products and evaluate how they present their message. See not only how they sell their products or services, but also how they present their personal story. What are they doing to compel their customers to use their services?
As you conduct your own research, you need to define your buyers. Find out where most of your recent buyers came from and where you would find the best source for new customers. While you may not have a large marketing budget, you can still effectively market on a smaller scale if you target it correctly. Then you can create your spin: develop associations around your own strengths and advantages.
Think of your marketing plan as a series of modular pieces, including referral mailings, direct mail or handouts, Web site, personal thank-you cards, van signage, business cards or yellow pages. You decide what to include separately and what to package together. Make sure there is a cohesive message that tells your story: who you are and what makes your company the best choice.