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Economic Slowdown - Marketing 101

If you own a private company you should be wondering how to deal with the current economic slowdown. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke October 7 unveiled an aggressive plan to make it easier for American companies to finance short-term needs like payroll obligations and purchasing supplies. He says the outlook for America's economic performance has worsened. But don't panic. You will find effective ways to sell products and services even in such an economy.

Read carefully the following marketing tips compiled from well known experts:

1 - You must keep promoting your products and services no matter what economic environment your company lives in. Otherwise, your competition will get the largest slice of the pie. With that in mind, focus your marketing efforts on potential clients who have a high purchasing power and need your products or services.

2 - Do not forget that marketing is everything from the name of your company, the quality of your products and the customer service you provide your clients with, to your ability to organize community events, to advertise what you sell and the way your receptionist answers the phone.

3 - If your marketing and advertising budget is too low, use your clients' mailing list to send flyers, brochures or catalogs by postal mail to announce promotions, events and special discount plans. Although it will cost you more per unit than CPM advertising, you can handle it with a lower budget. In such a case, you will reach less prospects.

4 - If you have a marketing and advertising budget, choose the right media type (radio, TV, print, online) for your business nature and budget. Radio and TV are pretty expensive but very effective if you are addressing to the general market. Print is experiencing some changes. Daily newspapers are suffering both rising production costs and lower circulation. National and local magazines are better than daily newspapers since they dont' print daily news that readers can find on the Internet. They print feature articles of great interest to their readers. Internet is no longer the future, it is a very important part of our present time. Online portals and high traffic websites are ideal outlets for marketing and advertising at lower rates. However, if you run a small business in any specific local area, be very careful. Don't waste your money in non-local traffic if you are located in Glendale, California, and only sell to consumers living in a 20 sq-miles area. New technology allows websites to serve ads (banners, leaderboards, rectangles, skyscrapers) in a geotargeting mode. This means that they can point ad units and zones to Los Angeles (city), California (state or region), the United States (country), and even to several cities, regions or countries at the same time. Narrow the focus. If you're trying to reach Latinos, don't advertise in a magazine or a website aimed at Asian-Americans. If you operate locally, don't waste your money in a national magazine.

5 - Become a member of your local chamber of commerce and other business organizations. It will help you network with other companies and access potential clients.

6 - Be a sponsor of community events and nonprofit organizations located where your potential clients live in. Let the media know your are doing this.

7 - Keep yourself well informed of what is going on in regards of local and national economy. Go to the Internet, read news and watch TV business shows. Remember, knowledge is power.

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