As large retailers are just waking up to the marketing shift, they are realizing the importance of Twitter, Facebook and the value of blogs. In an article by ANNE D’INNOCENZIO she states that: Online retailers are shifting their marketing from traditional advertising to less expensive tools like Facebook.com, Twitter and e-mail. Some highlights in that article are for starters: “Online retailers want … to be more efficient in getting a bigger bang for the buck,” said Scott Silverman, executive director of Shop.org. Developing social media marketing requires some investment in personnel, he said, but many merchants see big opportunities to spread a positive message about their brand for relatively low cost.
An interesting result of Internet analysis firm Forrester Research found merchants believing that online business are better suited in an economic downturn than physical stores. With Social Media Marketing, merchants are seeing great opportunities to create a positive message of their brand for very low costs. Silverman said “It’s safe to say that it continues to be a bright spot in the economy.” “Everyone feels that there is a lot of potential, and they want to be in the game,” he added.
Stores like Wal-Mart and others are encouraging bloggers to test their products then blog about them on their sites due to shoppers that are increasingly turning to the Internet looking for deals.
So what can I as a business do?
Spend more time building relationships with people you know. You will have less money to work with so use that wisely by marketing to the people you already know.
Maximize your advertising return. Whatever your using, create a dedicated landing page to turn a click into a prospect.
Trusted brands are valued. Research your customer to know how they are responding to the recession. Work with them to help their budgets. It will help create loyalty during the recession and continue as the recession eases.
Family Values…very important to tie into. When times are hard, consumers will retreat back to home comforts, so reflect that in your marketing helping them stay connected with family. Greeting cards, telephone services, home entertainment are all comfort zones at home where people will want to retreat to; but also stay in touch with family and friends.
Adjust your marketing to within reach places like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube where you know consumers are spending more time. Things to talk about? Comforts of home and helpful hints & tips. New helpful items, cozy yet simple cost effective ideas for springtime/summer fun. How to save costs on a vacation at the beach, backyard campouts, summer pool parties, the idea’s are endless.
Lower some prices offering temporary price promotions, bundle your services creating a family value bundle, offer a weekly family special or add a weekly drawing for a trusted brand item that consumers seem to be always reaching for.
Bottom line is – Successful companies do not abandon their marketing strategies in a recession; they adapt them. (John Quelch)