How to Thrive During a Recession

David G. Johnson Small Business Marketing 5 Comments

We discussed previously that the last thing you want to trim out of your budget during a recession is your marketing.

Here’s some actual data (Hat tip: Rod Alan Richardson via Twitter @rodalan) on previous recessions that reveals some very interesting facts:

  • maintaining your marketing budget helps not only during a recession, but afterward
  • your ROI may not be as high during a recession, but your actual profits in other years may not be as high as you think
  • market share is as important right now as profitability (more so, if you ask me)
  • the idea that you can cut back “because everyone else is” is foolhardy

There’s quite a bit more data out there, but you can read the article to get it.

My point is this: cut anything… heck, cut everything, but don’t cut your marketing budget.

The Big Key

That being said: spend it more effectively. Gain the know-how to utilize and leverage 21st-Century technologies to get better results. Here are some tips:

  1. Fix your website.  Look at 2 things: is it showing up when your actual prospects are searching Google and those other search engines (I’m sure there must be others).  And secondly: is it starting and furthering relationships?  (Hint: measure!)
  2. Drop your print yellow pages ad.  With certain very specific exceptions (highly-niched specialty books that have actual users), you don’t need this.  Keep a listing, yes.  Don’t waste your money on display ads.
  3. Buy internet yellow pages listings.  And other online local business search listings. Here’s how to not screw up: be sure you can track everything. Know which listing is getting you what results. Do not do this if you haven’t done #1 above.
  4. Email. If you don’t yet have a database, start one.  Today.  Put a strategy in place to deliver value to your prospects and customers (hint: don’t be boring) on a consistent basis.  Then execute that strategy. Divert internal resources as necessary to accomplish this.
  5. Manage your time with a hatchet. Figure out where your energies are being wasted and cut the stuff out of your schedule. Do it now.  You can’t be effective if you’re floundering around.

Want more?  Let me know.

By the way… if you couldn’t make it to our recent “Results Now Marketing” seminar, the DVDs are coming soon. They’re worth their weight in gold. Sign up to be notified over here.

About the Author

David G. Johnson

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David G. Johnson is Co-Founder and Growth Engineer at Grow The Dream, where he advises and trains business owners, entrepreneurs, and small business teams on revenue growth strategies. You can also find him co-hosting the Grow The Dream Show. »» Full Bio

Comments 5

  1. Post
  2. How can you make such a general statement”Drop your print yellow pages ad”? What about service companies like plumbers and auto repairing who depend on yellow page advertising? I’m guessing if you owned a yellow page business instead of a web page business, your advice would be a little different.

  3. Post

    Hi Eric,

    Thanks for visiting the site and for jumping into the discussion.

    Unfortunately, you’ve misunderstood the nature of my business. We aren’t a “web page business.” We provide marketing consulting services that focus on growing revenue — offline and online.

    Thus, the ulterior motive that you hint at isn’t there.

    The fact of the matter is that only 1 in 3 people looking for a local business even consult the yellow pages at all. It’s not a market that I would recommend anyone do without, but if you’re looking to achieve a higher ROI in this economy (which my customers, clients, and students are definitely trying to do), then it’s time to quit wasting such enormous amounts of money for so little return.

    This is why I can make a general statement. You’ll notice that I mentioned there are some exceptions, and that I believe in keeping a listing… just not spending the money on the display ad.

    If you have unlimited resources and can afford a low ROI, then by all means… spend money on a large display ad in the yellow pages.

    Otherwise, move your money to where the customers are looking and where you can create real relationships (this assumes you’ve taken my advice and done step #1).

  4. What is an acceptable ROI for Yellow Pages. I generally show people a minimum of doubling their investment and ussually tripling, quad or better. With tracking #’s 84% of people renew in my company. For me, this year, starting Sept, 100% renewal. Wid

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