Times are tough apparently and despite what everyone else is saying, NOW is the time to engage with new customers and your existing client base.

Greece is about to collapse, markets are in free fall and unemployment is rising. You'd think the world is ending! Advertising markets are flat and businesses are cutting anything and everything from their bottom line. Usually, the first thing to go is marketing and we disagree. We are seeing businesses go into defensive mode and this gives creative organisations the opportunity to buck the trend and capture an otherwise unengaged market. While your competitors are lying dormant there is an open market available for the taking.

That's easy to say. So how do you do it?

We know that people are pretty smart these days and are unlikely to be receptive of straight sales promotions rammed down their throats. You have to think outside the box and provide potential customers with something they actually want - information. A great example is Bunnings - they don't run free DIY workshops for the fun of it. It's designed to get people in store and ultimately buying using a marketing message that is completely devoid of any hard sell.

There are endless examples of "information" that can be provided to consumers that takes away that "hard sell" approach and engages your audience. Some examples:

  • A finance company may provide a stock market update;
  • Hardware stores can demonstrate a new building method;
  • The local Leagues club might give the sports results for the weekend games;
  • Estate agents or mortgage brokers can pull together market trends and recent community events; get the idea. Things like customer satisfaction surveys and regular newsletters are another great way to engage your audience.

Cost effective campaign execution

With a tight budget sending out direct mail is out of the question. Utilising electronic communications methods like email and SMS allow you to quickly disseminate your message in an incredibly cost effective way. Due to their nature, electronic campaigns can be pulled together in a matter of hours and in the hands of your target audience literally seconds later. All these options enable you to engage with new customers and your existing base without having to outlay mega dollars on direct mail, TV or radio commercials.

Remember, customers may not buy today but regular and relevant communications will ensure they buy tomorrow. Don't lie dormant through what is ultimately a great opportunity to capture the market and grow your business as things turn around.