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Creative Marketing Strategies Part One: Back to Basics

Creative Marketing Strategies Part One: Back to BasicsThis is the first in a five part series on creative marketing strategies for your business in a downturn. To begin we need to first understand what the term ‘marketing’ really means.

So let’s look at marketing in simple dating terms:

You see an attractive girl at a function. You go up to her and say: “I am very rich. Would you like to have dinner with me?”
That’s Direct Marketing.

Or perhaps you go up to the same girl and say: “I am very rich. Would you like to have dinner with me!” She then gives you a nice hard slap on your face.
That’s Customer Feedback.

Or one of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says: “He’s very rich – have dinner with him.”
That’s Advertising.

Or you go up to her, get her phone number- then you call next day and say: “Hi, I’m very rich – will you have dinner with me?
That’s Telemarketing.

Or you get up and straighten your suit, you walk up to her and pour her a drink, you open the door and then politely ask her to dinner”
That’s Public Relations.

Finally the girl walks up to you and says: ”You are very rich – will you have dinner with me?”
Now that’s Brand Recognition.

We should all strive for brand recognition in our businesses but to do this especially during tough economic times we have to stay front of mind with our target market.  An interesting statistic is that brands that continued to advertise throughout the second world war eventually became the market leaders in their field when the war was over.

In an economic downturn don’t cut, or worse still, eliminate your marketing budget – instead, just get a little smarter with it.

To help, here’s part one  outlining “5 creative strategies for marketing your business and retaining your brand recognition during tough economic times”.

First up, how to stand out from your competitors.

In tough times we need to first get ‘back to the basics’.  We need to focus on one core product that we do really well and better than any of our competitors and then do it even better!

It is important to always remain true to our brand. In a Readers Digest poll during 2008 of the world’s most trusted brand revealed that: ‘… the most important thing to a customer is a brand being true to its promise’.

Leading global brands like Coca Cola remain true to their brand – wherever you go in the world the coke generally tastes the same and the branding remains consistent – and that brand is now worth over $US60 billion.

To remain true to your brand you need to remember what business you are in.

Sounds simple but it’s probably not what you think – for example is a baker in the bread making business or Bunnings in the hardware business?

The answer is no – in fact we are all in the same business and that’s the ‘problem solving’ business.

Customers today like they always have, buy on ‘emotion’.  We need to identity what that emotion is and then become the ‘panadol’ for their headache.  You should always strive to continually educate your customers and prospects to understand, appreciate and desire the benefit of the product or service you sell over that of your competitors.  Focus on your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and make sure everyone knows about it.  Make your USP believable and above all, measurable.  FedEx used to have the USP ‘We own our planes’ and almost went out of business – until they come up with ‘Absolutely. Positively. Overnight’.  Now that’s believable and definitely measurable.

Next time we look at how making small changes to your marketing can bring you big results.

– Tony Eades is the creative director for Brand Manager (www.thebrandmanager.com.au)

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Tony Eades

Tony Eades

Tony Eades is the creative director of the BrandManager, a creative, marketing and communications agency based in Sydney and Perth. He is a business branding expert with more than 20 years experience in design, marketing, advertising and media production.

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