July 06, 2010

Getting back into marketing

Many small businesses felt the need to pull back on their marketing budgets during the recent recession.

But at the same time, the economic downturn provided a golden opportunity for small businesses to examine the ways and means that they market their products and to refocus their efforts for higher efficiency and results, area specialists say.

"Actually, we have noticed a lot more interest in marketing since the economy began declining,†says Kirk Howard, president of Kinziegreen Marketing Group in Wausau. "A lot of businesses are realizing they have to be proactive in growing their businesses during these tough times. They understand that when sales are declining, they need to employ consistent and effective marketing strategies to increase awareness and preference for their products and services.

"When sales are strong, it’s sometimes tough to persuade a business that they should invest, but when sales slow down or decline, many businesses suddenly realize they have to do something to distinguish themselves from their competitors and to be more compelling to purchasers.â€

Tom Marks is president and managing partner of TMA+Peritus in Wausau, which specializes in the Web, branding and content marketing.

"When your marketing team or agency starts down the ’best time to advertise is during a recession’ road, ask them if the best time to buy a bathing suit is in the dead of winter?†he says. "Maybe it is, maybe it’s not. The grim realities of operating a business when the economy is in the stinkpot is that all budgets need to be prepared for the carving knife; yet as marketers, we always feel our budget alone is sacred. You slice the marketing budget and you can count on a sliced share of the market oh, and by the way, it will take decades to reclaim the lost share points.

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