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Eight Marketing Strategies to Gain Momentum in a Sluggish Economy

Written By: Lisa Berman

In the middle of a downturn, everyone is looking for an upside. Your sales are down, marketing budget has been (or is about to be) cut, and you’re looking at ways to “do more with less.” Don’t despair; here are Eight Marketing Strategies to Gain Momentum in a Sluggish Economy.

Trim fat. Focus your marketing efforts on the customers who make up your top 30- 40 percent, however, don’t forget about the people who only order from you once or twice – just send them promotional material less often. Your customers are already sold on your goods or services for one or more reasons: reliability, price, and service

Target strategically. Make sure the right message is reaching the right audience at the right time (that would be now). I hate receiving “Big & Tall” catalogs just because I once bought a gift for someone five years ago! Use overlays on your lists to create the best, most up-to-date and targeted list possible to get the results you want.

Watch frequency. Ask your prospects how often if they want to receive email from you. Do they want monthly, weekly or even (yeah, right) daily email?  Make sure you stay on Internet Service Providers’ (ISP) “white lists”. Getting blacklisted will cost you both on the front end and the back end (you won’t sell your goods).

Use games. Use involvement devices. Whether it’s a sweepstake, some type of “Spin the Wheel”, a scratch-off, or even a decoder game (print or on the web) – it works. People love to take chance, especially when it doesn’t cost them a penny. GET YOUR AUDIENCE ENGAGED!

Make deals. Make sure your offer gets your customer to act quickly; the respond by date is a great strategy and promotes urgency.

Cross Sell. Your customer is already buying so get them to buy more product or product from a different department!

Contact them. Implement a Customer Controlled Communications policy. Find out your client’s channel preference – email, direct mail, or phone – and preferred frequency of contact. Find out what type of items your customer would like to receive information on.  Your customers will appreciate you looking out for what pleases them.

Show the love! Give back to your customers. Show them your appreciation by giving them a gift, possibly a credit towards their purchase at a certain level ($X or more). Make your customer feel special. After all, your company would not be where it is today without past loyalty.

Lisa Berman is Director of New Business Development at CGSM; CGSM is a privately held direct-marketing agency specializing in the marketing strategy, design and production of direct marketing campaigns. Its media neutral approach and production skills combined with a focus on improved targeting make it possible for CGSM to offer a unique approach to customer acquisition and retention.

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