7 Rules For Marketing In Tough Times

In difficult economic times, skilled marketing always pays off. It is easy to slash expenditure on marketing, but you may do it at great risk to the future of your business.

Here are seven rules of good marketing in tough times:

  1. Always increase your marketing activity before decreasing your expenditure
    Your media consultant is exposed to many client marketing programs. Many of these programs result in more success than others. Your consultant can advise.
  2. Focus your advertising
    Understand which prospects you really want and use media that is narrow-casted to that market. A niche approach involving both print and digital media is the answer here.
  3. Marketing is muscle, not fat
    Just as savvy investors buy shares in tough times, smart marketers buy market share when others are reducing their marketing in tough times. If you trim the muscle, the parts that drive your business, you’ll run out of oxygen.
  4. Sharpen your marketing tools
    Get good advice. Good creative, a strong message, applying your unique selling propositions (USPs), developing an integrated approach and measuring your results will all make you a better marketer of your business.
  5. Focus on key markets where your key profits are
    Are you really sure where your best profits come from? Where and who are your best customers?
    What motivates them to buy from you?
  6. Marketing is only a cost if it is done poorly
    Have you really thought about which marketing programs can drive which part of your sales? For example, knowing what drives the bottom line short term and long term is often crucial. Another example would be to spend most of your marketing on qualified prospects who research through niche magazines and digital media rather than broad-based media that largely tries to convert people with no genuine interest in your product or services.
  7. Always try to align marketing with sales
    Often, inexperienced marketers don’t know what marketing affects which sales. There are now many ways to link the two. Measuring results through creative concepts, coupons and call-to-action programs can make a huge difference to your response.


MARKETING IN TOUGH TIMES – Achieving a better return on investment (ROI)


•Focus advertising expenditure on qualified prospects.
•Advertising expenditure should be aimed at active buyers most likely to buy rather than all potential customers.
•Advertise to the most profitable market segments.
•Works best, particularly in tough times.
•Media selection: niche magazines, niche websites, databases and social media.


•Reaches potential buyers less likely to buy.
•May give some return in buoyant times but is not usually cost-effective.
•Not targeted enough to reach most profitable segments.
•Ineffective return in tough times.
•Media selection: TV, radio, regional and metro newspapers, general websites.




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