Economic Slowdown Brings Déjà Vu All Over Again

by Matthew O'Brien on May 23, 2008

“…while it is impossible to forecast the impact of a sustained downturn on corporate marketing budgets, one thing is for certain: conditions are going to be different for a while than they were.”

“Things that might have not been very powerful before a recession become very powerful in a recession,” says Bob Atkins, a vice president of Mercer Management Consulting in New York.”

Deja Vu MarketingThese comments are certainly timely, or are they? Taken from Business 2.0 in an article titled Bear Opportunities written in April 17, 2001 by Jennifer Gilbert and Jane Hodges, you would think this was written yesterday. Needless to say a great article and here is the executive summary with a Mint Social twist:

What are the marketing tools to use in a recession?
– Customer Attraction
– Customer Retention
– Invest in your Brand

In 2001, social media marketing and social networks were in a raw and yet to be defined stage of existence. However, fast forward to 2008 and we are in the midst of learning how to apply the most cost effective marketing and advertising medium to our online businesses. Well, I must admit that the last year and a half has been filled with interesting dialog and education back and forth with those that know much less than me and those that know much more.

So where are we at? Social media works and it is the greatest act now tool to get people on board today (thanks to the scare tactics and sensationalism that the media in putting on this industry…and please keep it up).

Ok, you may be saying, “I have a blog and it gets some traffic but it is not impacting my business with leads or sales. “ The answer is syndication. Have you set up marketing channels in the top social media and networking sites on the Internet to market and brand your business? If the answer is no, I completely understand why you are not seeing encouraging results.

How to you get the most from social media marketing? Great question! Think of your blog as a syndication hub for your business (like your own associated press). Then, think in terms of marketing your business in the third person. Still not getting it? Think in terms of testimonials, case studies and third party endorsements from partners, vendors and customers. Now go back to your LinkedIn account and learn how they have designed their site and get you to build your profile to market yourself. (Actually, I have found Fast Pitch Networking to be a great lead generation and new business generation tool, maybe the best online.)

Ok, I got off track so let’s get back to the marketing tools for recession:
– Customer Attraction
– Customer Retention
– Investment in the Brand

If this story from 2001 wasn’t written for social media, it is now. Social media marketing is all about branding…inexpensive branding I might add. Now let’s look at the other two, attracting customers or we call it in social networking, building your online community and lastly, customer retention. Let’s talk about this. Social media is all about giving a voice to the customer and this scares the sh*t out of businesses. However, a company with its ear to the needs of the customers is practicing the best customer retention tactics that exist.

Get going with social media marketing and please get started on the right foot by enrolling an expert to help you. The great thing about marketing in this medium (social media) is that once the system is set up right, you can enroll idle resources and low cost added resources to make this a marketing machine that will grow your business.

Take away: get started on the right foot or you will channel energy and valuable resources in a direction that is not deliver the results you want.

So…something old, something new, something Mint Green designed to help you.

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