Tough Times Never Last But Tough Companies Do by mikethg

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									Harris Consulting LLC - Strategic Marketing Blog

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Credits

Now is the time to re-look at your strategy (on a monthly basis if need be). If you don't have a model, use this one: 1. What are the trends in my industry? 2. What's driving the trends? 3. What are my competitors doing about the trends? 4. What are we doing about the trends? 5. What should we be doing about the trends? Then do it.
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Thursday, September 04, 2008
TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST....PART 2
Posted by: Mike Harris

Where do you deploy reduced marketing resources in a downturn? Whatever marketing budget you have, deploy it interactively. In other words, spend money only in outreach that is likely to yield an IMMEDIATE DIALOGUE with a prospect or an important influencer. Skip the monologue stuff (printed materials, direct mail, most advertising). I typically advise clients that are strapped to skip the tradeshows too...they're money pits and a big disruption to the sales and marketing teams. First, focus on sales calls. Personal sales calls are still the best marketing there is. Next, focus on web marketing and email marketing. Web marketing is SEO, PPC, site design strategy, site submission, reciprocal linking and strategic copyrighting for starters. Help your prospects find you. Email marketing is the promotion of products and services via emails sent with the recipient's permission. Test, test and test some more. Both of these are highly complex now. Know what you're doing or you'll waste precious time and resources plus get a bad taste for these very powerful marketing tools. There are scads of free articles on the internet on how to deploy your

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9/23/2008 9:18 AM

Harris Consulting LLC - Strategic Marketing Blog

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marketing messages using these tools. I'm also partial to the "how-to" guides published by Marketing Sherpa. Be prepared to pay $200-$400 for each guide. If, after the web and email marketing, you have some extra cash focus it on sales promotions. These are also useful to get dialogues going, especially if you're using 2-step or 3-step distribution. Telesales is wonderful for this. The key to prospering in a downturn is to stay active in the right places. Remember, tough times never last but tough companies do.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
TOUGH TIMES NEVER LAST...BUT TOUGH COMPANIES DO
Posted by: Mike Harris

Part 1 of 2 Let's get something straight. There is distress in many sectors of our economy. Does it truly matter whether the folks in Washington can get it together long enough to give it the official "R" title? What matters to those of us in businesses that are affected is how to deploy resources when times are tough. We all know marketing expenses are the first to get cut. Quite frankly, it makes sense. That's why marketers need to be prepared, especially in tough times, to factually show the point of diminishing returns in all categories of marketing spending. Let's start with the marketing organization. (Part 2 will address where to deploy the budget) How many troops do you really need when times are tough? Who stays, who goes? What work can legitimately be outsourced without compromising quality and creativity? First, understand that if you must trim the budget you won't be getting the same volume of marketing activities. Period...end of story. Don't go in and whack 30% of the budget and expect to get the same production. You wouldn't whack 30% of manufacturing capacity and still expect to get the same number of widgets, would you? If your annual revenue is less than $100 million, you don't need to spend a lot of money on marketing resources. Before anything else, you must have truly talented product managers. If you're doing $100 million with 1-5 distinct products or services, then one product manager with good general marketing skills should suffice. Outsource the small stuff like collateral material and Keep It Simple! If you're doing $10 million with 100 different products or services, then your

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Harris Consulting LLC - Strategic Marketing Blog

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product/service line is way too complex and you need to apply the 80/20 rule pronto before you go bankrupt. After the product managers comes web and internet marketing. This is indispensable to most businesses today. In tough times, I would invest in a webmaster with general marketing skills before I would invest in a marketing manager or director. Squeeze every last drop of marketing out of digital marketing (web, email, internet) before spending money elsewhere. This is by far the most ubiquitous, cost efficient form of marketing today. After the webmaster, depending on the complexity of your distribution, comes the marketing director or group product manager. If you're doing $100 million or less, this team should be able to get the work out the door. If your company's revenues are in the $100-$500 million range in a strong economy, a good rule of thumb is to have one full time marketing person for every $50 million of revenue. In tough times I'd whittle the level of marketing activities down considerably and keep the top five talented people and make heavy use of outsourcing. If your company's revenues are more than $500 million, and you expect financial suffering, you can probably cut 30-50% of your marketing team as long as the activities are whittled down accordingly and the remaining team members are talented. Do not burn people out. It'll come back around to haunt you. Remember, tough times never last. But tough companies do.
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Friday, August 15, 2008
SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOUR BUSINESS
Posted by: Mike Harris

Although the jury's still out on how big a help social media is to business, rest assured that social media is an idea whose time has come. Think about Google stock. We all wish we'd bought it a lot earlier than we did, right? But who took the time to understand this nascent market space and the players? Social media is just like Google stock. It will most certainly go up in value to your business in the near future. For businesses who are not using social media, which is most, now is a beautiful time to download Brian Solis' excellent (and free) e-book on how to go about it. The Essential Guide To Social Media Read it, use the very cool blueprint for mapping out what would help your company the best, and pick one or two easy

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