I read recently that, in the current economic climate, simply holding your own as a business is something of an achievement, and in a sense I think we can all relate to that. But for the hungry entrepreneur settling for the status quo, even in the most challenging conditions, will never be acceptable.
Pushing your business during an economic downturn can result in you rapidly raising your brand profile and bringing on board potentially loyal customers who will stand your business in good stead when you emerge stronger than competitors who have withdrawn into themselves completely when normal service in the economy is restored.
Don’t get me wrong. I fully understand the need to balance the need to market your business with the budgetary imperatives of being financially cautious to preserve cash flow. But that shouldn’t mean an end to all marketing activity. The key is to structure your marketing activity to suit the current needs and ambitions of the business. Don’t rush off in different directions without first setting out what you are trying to achieve, what success would look like and then how you can reach your destination without committing budget your business cannot afford.
Our team at Quay West start every new project by drawing what we call a ‘marketing map’. WE put the client in the centre together with what their objectives are: open up new leads in this new market sector; increase sales in this sector by x%; increase traffic to our web site etc etc. Then around the map we draw in all possible marketing communications disciplines that could be used to help us help the client reach their destination. Slowly, one by one, we remove the tools that we feel are either unnecessary, too budget hungry, not geared to helping us meet these specific objectives and so on, until we are left with activities that, working together, can help us reach our targets.
And “working together” is an important phrase. We try to ensure that all programmes are integrated, such that all activity – whether social media, press relations, email marketing etc – in some way work together to achieve better results.
In many ways, never has it been easier to target potential customers more imaginatively and cost effectively than now. Failure to do so means you’re missing a marketing trick. And true entrepreneurs never miss a trick!
The Week: What a fantastic and busy week! On Monday I had a client coaching session followed by the first of the workshop series for young entrepreneurs at the University of Essex. The energy and drive of these practising and aspiring new business leaders balances some of the negative press given to today’s youth. A great start to Young Entrepreneurs week for the University. On Tuesday, I attended the KPMG Luncheon club in Ipswich and then down to London to the Home Office, who hosted Highflyingdivas. We discussed the 10 tips to get the role you deserve. Many more tips were exchanged and feedback was “excellent”. Wednesday was a day in the office catching up with accounts and future Forum event planning. Thursday back to London for some service development discussions and Friday again in the office.
Reading for the week: “Language of Leaders” by Kevin Murray has been recommended at a Leadership Forum event. Kevin Murray, Chairman of PR firm Bell Pottinger, says, “Good leaders steer organisations to success by inspiring and motivating followers, by providing a moral compass for employees to set direction and by communicating a compelling vision the future.”
Lighter Reflections: Husband James was in reflective mood last night, as we sat in the pub with our neighbours. He started to recall an incident he was called out to, when he was a DS in the CID, Met Police. The case was a serious accident at an abattoir. He recalled how someone was riding a motorbike out of the premises and was hit by oncoming traffic. One of the juniors was sent over to look at the dead body of the passenger who was dressed in a biker’s jacket and full helmet. He was told that the passenger was definately dead. It was. It was also a pig! The rider was so anxious to leave with his “passenger” that he neglected to check the road for oncoming traffic. The next day, I took my dog Baron for his usual walk and met a fellow dog-walker who said “what a shame that Baron (who is jet black) is going grey”. I responded “Yes, well he might not be, if he hadn’t pressed himself up against the front-door which is receiving its third coat of grey primer!”. Also interesting that Baron appears to be only going grey down his left side! So, my reflection? Things are not always what they seem!
Future Forum Dates:
Leadership Forum, Colchester, a.m 22nd November
Highflyingdivas 6th December, Colchester