Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

2 Nov, 2012

Six-Point Plan to Help Small Businesses Boost Brand in New Economy


Wilmington, NC (PRWEB) October 31, 2012 – As the year winds down, most businesses will spend these final weeks scrutinizing over revenue growth, operation expenditures and other financial factors. In short, the 4th Quarter represents final exam time for companies – and in many cases – the strength of their marketing in 2012 could determine the overall grade.

However, East-Coast-based Bon’s Eye Marketing (BEM) tells operations not to dwell on “what-ifs” drifting by in the rearview mirror, as the road ahead might prove bumpier. The agency predicts that many businesses in 2013 will be faced with an even smaller consumer pool – largely as the result of a shaky global economy and spike in U.S. retirees on fixed income.

In fact, a recent survey by AlixPartners, a global firm of senior business and consulting professionals, found that 83 percent of participating consumers expect to spend the same or less on non-essential purchases over the next 12 months. Business vehicles now need the appropriate tools to maneuver around such roadblocks ahead. The key to marketing and sales success in the coming months, according to BEM: Steer clear of blind mass marketing.

“Traditionally businesses were taught to cast a wide net when reaching out to prospects,” said Stephen Bon, president of Bon’s Eye Marketing. “Today’s marketplace is very different. There are more businesses competing for the same customers. These businesses are trying to differentiate themselves over the competition by using increasingly-aggressive sales tactics. Lastly, more consumers are spending less and shopping around before making purchases.”

This creates a narrow window of opportunity for sellers, Bon said. He added that businesses must better target their approach, with a focus on getting the right message / brand in front of the right person at the right time. It’s a difficult task, but BEM has released a Six-Point Plan to guide companies in this new marketing reality.

BEM Six-Point Plan to Strengthen Brand

  • 1. Compile / Update Customer Information collected to date. This might include, but is not limited to: The average age range of the client, customer location (your market reach); estimated ratio of female buyers to male buyers, hangouts, interests, income, values, spending trends, etc. If this data is not on file, it can be collected through a consumer survey, questionnaire, poll, research through industry associations, etc.
  • 2. Characterize Your Product / Service: Include purpose and price points. Identify ideal regions for selling product / service. Research competition’s marketing (ad placement, commercial spots, signage, etc). Identify what separates your service / product from the competitors. What do customers appreciate most about your business? What could be changed to provide a better end product/service? Align this information with your target audience profile. This will allow you to decide what products / services best fit the consumer’s needs, likes and expectations.
  • 3. Identify Most Effective Marketing Methods to Date: List strategies that produced the best results – newspaper ads, referral program, promotional events, etc. Compare return on investment (if applicable). Can successful strategies be improved?
  • 4. Allocate Budget: Realize that marketing is a continuous approach, not a temporary effort. Therefore, don’t invest all efforts and money in the first quarter. If funds are an issue, test one or two strategies per month, having a more accumulative approach. The tendency for many businesses is to frontload the budget because of eagerness to get customers right away. This, however, can produce drastic results as not all strategies are effective throughout the entire year.
  • 5. Identify Grassroots Backup Strategies: In case of a budget-tightening month, create a list of other strategies that can provide results for less. It’s important to set realistic expectations. These are free methods, and many other business owners are vying for a piece of the saving’s pie.
  • 6. Conceptualize Strategies: Now, you should have a better understanding of:
  •  Your ideal customer in 2013 (based on customer profiles)
  •  Products to be promoted in 2013 / Those needing a rejuvenated approach
  •  Past marketing methods to keep & those to scrap
  •  Monthly budget for marketing expenses
  •  Free/cheap backup strategies