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Alpha Notes

Marketing Hints for Clients of Alpha Associates

Lessons Learned

Many (almost all) companies today are feeling the effects of our current recession and the business press is replete with advice on what to do. My intention is not to compete with the hallowed press, but instead, to share some observations on what our clients and companies in our network are doing to make progress in today’s environment. Maybe some of this information will help you with your situation.

We are exposed to companies in about 10 industries, and here are some of the activities that we have observed or been involved in with the most successful companies in our network:

Reinforce Existing Relationship with Best Customers – This represents the shortest route to not only continued revenue but needed revenue as our economy recovers. These customers represent your valuable long-term book of business.

Increase Exposure in your Industry and with Your Customer Base – You may have less revenue at the moment, but now is not the time to cut back. Don’t disappear because sales are down. Take this opportunity to increase activity with industry organizations and events that will give your company more exposure.

Clean Up Your Image! – Does your website truly reflect your company today? In the current environment, you may be able to negotiate a very attractive contract with a web company that can upgrade and improve your current website.

Investigate Technology to Upgrade Your Business Model – Today, employees can be both productive AND virtual. Promotion options are a whole new ballgame at very reduced cost. Technology can replace some travel and significantly increase communications both internally at the company, as well as externally with your customers and prospects.

Hit the Road – Get out and connect in person. See that old customer who was recently acquired in their new environment. Meet the new players. Take in industry events and trade shows even if you are not an active exhibitor or presenter. Connecting in person is still the most effective way to develop new customers and keep old customers happy.

Complete a Profitability Analysis – Have your marketing and finance management analyze all current products and services to give you a transparent picture of where money is being made and lost at your company. A thorough and timely analysis may make next-steps obvious.

Challenge Your Pricing Model – Times have changed, and maybe you should too. Do not assume that traditional pricing models will compete in today’s environment. Many prospects are negotiating harder for more aggressive pricing in this environment, and it may make sense for you to participate at some level.

Reducing cost alone is not an effective survival strategy. Structuring a program that protects your customer base, improves profit margins and promotes exposure in the marketplace will improve your business and make you more competitive and effective as our economy recovers.

From time to time I will continue to send along brief notes on what is working in this environment.