In my recent blog post, 5 Marketing Questions To Ask In A Recession, I discussed how October 2008 changed everything. Business is now more competitive than ever. As a result, most every business out there will have to re-think their marketing. Most will also have to improve their products and services. Because recessions like the one we’re looking at right now have a cruel way of thinning the herd.
We’re now seeing brands suffer that we never dreamed would. Most notable, the 3 major automobile manufacturers, who are now relying on the US government to bail them out. Circuit City has declared bankruptcy and is closing all of its 567 stores. Even Microsoft announced today that they’ll be laying off 5,000 employees, the first massive layoff in the company’s 34-year history. These are just a few examples.
While marketing isn’t the only reason some of our largest brands have suffered, I do believe in many cases it has played a role. Obviously business strategy has played a major role, as well.
But now, the playing field has changed for just about everyone. And competition is heating up.
All of this reminds me of a game we played in my copywriting course in college. The game was called “Knock-Knock.”
The way the game worked was, we all had to line up outside the classroom door. Then one by one, we’d knock on the door. Our professor would crack the door open. At that point, each student would have to say why the professor should open the door. And the professor wouldn’t let us in until we came up with a good reason.
I now understand and appreciate that game more than ever. It was a very simple yet effective demonstration of how marketing really works.
Right now, you’re probably having more trouble getting into some doors. Or perhaps you’re already on the inside, but you feel the pressure of trying to stay there because you know others are now knocking to get in and take your place.
Your relationships with your clients and customers may have kept you where you are for some time now. But when times get tough, relationships will get sacrificed for the bottom line. As the saying goes, “Nothing personal, it’s just business.”
As I’ve said before, October 2008 changed everything.
Are you developing the right kind of marketing strategies and brand messages that will push your business to the other side of this recession? Are you implementing social media strategies to create digital word-of-mouth for your brand? Are you giving your audience a reason to open the door that is better than the reason you had last year?
If not, you might want to get serious about your plan for 2009. Because you can bet that someday soon there will be wolves knocking on your clients’ doors.