If you’ve recently suffered a sudden decrease in sales (or haven’t been doing nearly as well as you’d hoped) you may need to change your marketing strategy.
Even advertising tactics that worked well six months ago may not be as effective now, especially in today’s ever-changing world. If you’ve found yourself in this position, or want to know how to handle it if you’re in this position in the future, these three keys will help keep your company’s promotional campaign afloat:
First, don’t be afraid to try out new and/or different marketing strategies.
The only constant in the business world is change, and your competitor is most likely already thinking about their next ad campaign even as their current one is being set into motion. Always pay attention to the current marketing trends, especially the ones that work, the ones that work well, and the ones that sink like a stone. Keep the majority of your advertising budget focused on traditional methods that seem to work solidly for you, but allocate a portion of that budget to explore possible new avenues in which to promote yourself.
Next, along with new marketing strategies you should be observant and watchful for new markets themselves.
Fear of diversifying will only hold you back, particularly when the world around you shifts and changes almost daily. If you stay on top of the wave rather than behind it (or avoiding it completely) you’ll already be a step ahead of your competition.
Entrepreneurs have made their fortunes by discovering and taking advantage of new markets before anyone else. Most of the time, you don’t even need to shift your focus entirely; there are likely some niches within your current target demographic you haven’t thought of.
If your business is teaching others how to go into business for themselves, is there a niche you’re forgetting (i.e. stay-at-home moms or recent grads with business majors)? Consider your current target consumers and think if there are any groups you may be overlooking, then create a few promotional pieces that speak directly to them. A well-placed ad, an innovative direct mailing or an added web page may be all you need to bring your sales back to what they were.
Lastly, take a critical view of your current product or service line. Is there a noticeable decrease in profits of one or more of your products?
If you have a varied product line, this won’t be a problem. (If you only sell that particular product or service, now would be a good time to branch out.) Considering carrying items that complement-not compete with-your current product line.
A chocolate shop may want to start including cakes, cookies or other bakery items; a bath and beauty business may want to include a line of candles or incense. Be creative: you never know what combination will prove to be the winning recipe for you.
As long as you stay aware of the current marketing trends (or even better, stay ahead of them) you won’t have to fear losing more sales to the competition.
Change is inevitable in a dynamic, global marketplace, so the sooner you embrace it the sooner your bottom line will soar. These three keys will help you through the rough spots, and hopefully be your guide to a healthier profit margin.