Creative Ways To Maintain Market Share During a Recession
Making sure you maintain market share for your business is key to making it through a recession. Advertising is essential to maintaining or growing your market share. So what if you have to cut advertising? There are ways to keep your advertising going while saving money depending on the amount of effort and innovation you are willing and able to contribute. Unfortunately a lot of business owners choose to stop or cut advertising instead of trying to find more efficient ways to do it.
You can be sure if you haven’t changed the way you advertise over the past five or more years, you are wasting money. This is due not only to economic conditions, but the effect new technology has had on consumers. The advertisers who choose to continue advertising the same as always (they would rather deal with the devil they know than the devil they don’t know) will find the economy is not the only reason they are losing business.
This is the time to try new advertising techniques. Do not be lazy, complacent or timid. Leave that attitude to your competition. The objective is to not lose market share and increase market share if possible.
The numbers of new and innovative ways to advertise are limited only to your imagination. Here are some creative ideas that may help you get started:
  • Cross Promote by offering discounts with same customer profiles.
    Bowling Ally & Skating Rink
    RV Dealer & Motorcycle/ATV
    Restaurant & Restaurant (people don’t always eat at the same place)
    Furniture Store & Builder
    Hair Salon & Dress Shop
    Car Dealer & Car Wash
  • Creative signage can reach large audiences at a much lower cost than traditional media such as radio, TV or Newspaper. Yard signs, posters hung in businesses and signs on vehicles are just a few ways you can inexpensively reach large audiences.
    • One business here in the Susquehanna Valley covers unusual vehicles with bold, patriotic designs and the name of his business and web site. He then places these vehicles in high traffic locations where he can reach mass audience. Not only are the vehicles hard to miss, people talk about them, generating more exposure through word of mouth. Plus, he can geographically target areas of the market more effectively than with most traditional media. The money he saves on media advertising could quickly pay for the cost of his painted vehicles.
  • If you have access to a few hundred feet of road frontage, something like the famous Berma Shave concept, originally used in the 1940’s and 1950’s is still very effective.
  • Improve the return on your advertising investment by better targeting your ads. If you are using mass media such as radio, focus your ads. Do not buy an ad schedule to run across all day parts. If most of your prospective customers listen during a particular time of day, buy fixed times so you can reach that specific audience with high frequency.
  • If direct mail has always worked for you, consider the alternatives. With current postage rates, it may be cheaper to hire students to walk around and place door hangers. E-blast is a good possible alternative to direct mail also. Plus you can track your e-blast, which may help you improve responses.
If your marketing strategy is to “just survive” through this recession, don’t forget you may need to make up for lost revenue when it is over and you may never be able to catch up.