5 Marketing Strategies to Beat the Downturn

The experts agree. It's time to go full throttle with your marketing efforts. While your competition is cutting back due to the economy, you have the chance to grab a larger share of customers and sales during the upcoming buying season. Here are 5 quick strategies that can be implemented easily and cost-effectively to help you gain while others are losing:

1. Target new customers aggressively.

Go after new customers, but be smart about it. The key to success is making every marketing dollar really count! Rather than advertising broadly and wasting your spend on the wrong prospects, employ highly effective methods such as direct mail where a targeted mailing list can pinpoint your best prospects.

2. Go back to old customers.

Smart business owners know that it's easier to keep existing customers than to attract new ones. Focus some of your marketing efforts on reactivating dormant customers who haven't purchased in awhile. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple reminder (and maybe an offer) to bring these customers back into the fold.

3. Start a referral program.

This is the tried and true "friends and family" approach. Turn customers into your own sales force. A referral program is easy to start and can quickly become one of your lower-cost, highest yielding marketing efforts.

4. Build loyalty and keep them coming back.

Similar to referrals, a loyalty program is a great way to retain your best customers and increase purchase frequency. Most major retailers have a "rewards" program - it's so easy to start your own!

5. Get creative with your promotions.

Still sending out the same coupon offer from a few years ago? Change things up and you could see a boost in response rates. In tough economic times, consumers are redefining value and spending selectively. Give them a reason to spend with you - an aggressive offer will win you new customers!

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