By Phil Morabito
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, but tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
The aforementioned proverb from the revered Chinese General Sun Tzu describes, quite accurately, the consequences of focused execution versus aimless action in a struggling economy. Marketing efforts are often times relinquished in this business climate as it can be seen as a cost-cutting strategy that will free up bandwidth.
However, business leaders will be sorely remiss once the economy makes its inevitable upswing and they wave goodbye to existing clients and new leads to act on.
The good news is traveling the marketing channels has never been more easy and affordable than it is today, and will be even more accessible tomorrow. As Sun Tzu promotes, the challenge is focus. Out of myriad tactics reaching across digital marketing, social media and the sales channel, here are three basic, critical and actionable marketing activities you need to consider in tough times:
1. You don’t need a Ph.D. to effectively deliver your story
An arm of marketing that relies on quick action, is practically free (if done right), and relationship building is public relations. Learning to write a news release is a Google search away, but targeting the message and creating a compelling story can be a challenge.
Investigate the local, national or international media you need to target as the vehicle to disseminate your message and see what and how they are promoting content. Tailor your news release to their style and voice, and offer something that will manage perceptions and motivate a call-to-action from your target audience. This is the fastest and cheapest way to get the word out about anything a company is doing.
Make sure it answers the three questions all reporters will ask: “What?”, “So What?” and “Now What?”
2. Have an inside joke with everyone
Fill up your breakfast, lunch and dinner plans. Reach out to new contacts and old clients early and often to understand what’s keeping them up at night and how you can mitigate their business pain. Networking and keeping a constant conversation with everyone you meet is crucial to sustainability. Generate loyalty by constantly providing thought leadership and subject matter expertise. You will not make a better friend than one you helped through a hard time and chances are in a bad economy, there are more than a few of them close by. Ignore them at your own peril.
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