Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tips for Marketing Lead Generation in a Down Economy

Here are a few tips for marketing and online lead generation to show how to get clients and save money in a down economy:

Marketing Lead Generation Strategy
• Isolate a target market that is less affected by the economic downturn and single out a segment that needs your product/service.
• Make sure your product/service is attractive compared to the competition.
• Target the competition’s customers. Make sure they know you are still going strong and want their business.

Marketing Materials and Online Lead Generation
• Have a Web site that drives good, focused leads to get clients. Web sites are great for online lead generation and foster communication with customers.
• Have marketing materials that are up-to-date and reflective of your core competence. They should be in line with your product/service positioning.

Advertising to Get Clients
• When the budget comes down to branding vs. marketing lead generation, focus on driving leads. Online lead generation is the way to go for economical, effective marketing lead generation.
• Commit to long-running advertising campaigns to get clients. Then you can lock-in at a very low rate. Also look for value-added opportunities for editorial features and promotions to enhance your standing as a preferred advertiser.
• Use small advertisements, but run them more frequently.
• Check with publishers for any left-over advertising space. Get on their list for last-minute cancellations. Let them know you’re interested, and have some standard advertising material to be used at short notice.

Partnerships and Public Relations
• Seek out economical public relations exercises to keep your product name visible to prospects. Working with partners is a win-win scenario.
• Join forces with another business selling complimentary products and promote one another to clients.
• Consider approaching potential partners that were previously unattainable. They may be more flexible in an economic downturn.
• Don’t limit yourself to your usual suppliers. Shop around for production quotes.
• Maintain marketing communication with clients. Fuel their loyalty by creating flexible and low-cost word-of-mouth opportunities.

Monday, November 10, 2008

How does the Recent Market Slowdown Affect your Marketing Lead Generation?

Marketing lead generation may be the last thing on the minds of business owners during a market slowdown. Often funding for lead generation services is just not there. Along with customer service and quality assurance departments, marketing lead generation can be one of the first things to go. This is a risky move, however. Marketing lead generation is an investment to get clients. Without it, businesses will find themselves declining as the downturn begins to lift. By that time, a company’s lead generation will have fallen dangerously behind the competition, and businesses will struggle to get clients. This means that during an economic slowdown, more competitive marketing-oriented companies can easily steal the business of other companies. Still, it’s a tough dilemma. Decreasing visibility will dramatically reduce sales in the long run. But when a company is looking at cutting an ad or two in a trade publication versus cutting a key player, it’s not surprising that the ads are the first thing to go.

Surprisingly, history shows that maintaining or even increasing a marketing lead generation budget in a down market can be the best investment a company ever makes to get clients. A 1982 study performed by Dr. Valerie Kijewski in the wake of the early 80s recession found that when firms spent aggressively on advertising and marketing during a recessionary period, they outperformed firms that cut spending, and by a margin close to 250%. Similarly, a McGraw-Hill study reviewed the performance of firms in the 1980-1985 periods. It found that firms that cut advertising during the recession increased sales by only 19% in the post-recession period, while firms that upped spending increased sales by 275%. A more recent marketing lead generation study from the University of Texas, surveying the approach of 154 marketing executives, concluded:
Practitioners should take comfort in our finding that under some
well-defined conditions, it pays for firms to proac-tively invest in
marketing activities during a recession.
What are some of these conditions? Well, you need to already have had some marketing efforts in place before the recession hit. You also need to make sure you can afford the extra marketing lead generation to get clients.

All this research is to say that increasing market presence and marketing lead generation during slow periods can really keep you on top when the market picks up. The effect of marketing during a recession can be impressive and can do a lot to get clients. The efforts will compound while other companies are cutting back, ensuring that your company has a real head start in a strengthening economy.

So what exactly should you do to stay ahead when money is tight?

First, spend time evaluating every area of your business, developing new leads to get clients, and building partnerships and customer relationships. All this is a better investment than keeping your money under the mattress when times are tough.

As far as marketing lead generation, you have a lot of options at your disposal, so choose lower-cost and more efficient marketing methods with online lead generation. Virtually every traditional marketing method has a corresponding online lead generation method:

Direct Mail -> Email Campaign
Telemarketing -> Online Advertising
Yellow Page Directories -> Search Engine Optimization
Live Conferences -> Web Seminars and White Papers
Public Relations -> Blogs
Printed Brochures -> Web sites

Online lead generation is faster, cheaper, and more efficient than the old methods, and thus is particularly well-suited to the dilemma of a recession.