"If you're attacking your market from multiple positions and your competition isn't, you have all the advantage and it will show up in your increased success and income."
--- Jay Abraham
In his book, Guerilla Marketing During Tough Times, Jay Conrad Levinson gives advice on what you can do to market effectively during this down-turn in our economy. "Whatever you do, don't make the mistake of thinking that the right price for tough times is the lowest price," says Levinson. "Price becomes secondary during hard times; people are searching for value."
The temptation is to cut pricing in hopes of attracting business and being able to take business away from the competition. The reality is that customers want quality now more than ever. Their wallets are echoing too so they want the best that they can get at a reasonable, but not necessarily, cheapest price.
"No matter what your product is, you are ultimately in the education business. Your customers need to be constantly educated about the many advantages of doing business with you, trained to use your products more effectively, and taught how to make never-ending improvement in their lives."
--- Robert G. Allen
Regardless of the sign industry segment that you serve, customer service wins over pricing. Part of good customer service is educating the client on what products and services will best serve them and meet their needs. By spending time with each and every customer, you are insuring that they pay the prices you have set while establishing a foundation for a loyal relationship. These customers will still be devoted to you when the economy improves.
"A lot of companies have chosen to downsize, and maybe that was the right thing for them. We chose a different path. Our belief was that if we kept putting great products in front of customers, they would continue to open their wallets."
--- Steve Jobs
This slump that we are experiencing now does not provide an excuse for taking shortcuts in the quality of your products and service. Letting your reputation for quality continually speak for your business is a sure-fire way to market your business (mainly through word-of-mouth) without spending a dime out of your marketing budget.
"Customers don't always know what they want. The decline in coffee-drinking was due to the fact that most of the coffee people bought was stale and they weren't enjoying it. Once they tasted ours and experienced what we call "the third place".. a gathering place between home and work where they were treated with respect.. they found we were filling a need they didn't know they had."
--- Howard Schultz
You may have to give away some of your services as a piggy-back offer with the purchase of a product. Restaurants have used this strategy with success for years when they offer free desert with dinner or free drinks or refills. You can do the same. Offer something additional so they can taste a sample of the quality of your offerings.
"Next to doing the right thing, the most important thing is to let people know you are doing the right thing."
--- John D. Rockefeller
Take time this month to re-evaluate your marketing plan. Find great deals for advertising your products and services to your market. Some are very inexpensive (SignIndustry.com offers a Product Showcase listing for only $100 per month!), and can provide just as much exposure as some of the more expensive ads.
Whatever you do, do it now. This is not the time to be cutting back on your advertising and marketing. Look at it this way: A lot of other businesses are cutting back in those areas. This is prime time for you to be in the eyes of your potential buyers. There are still buyers out there now and when the economy does get better, you will be in a position of brand and name recognition, and that is a great place to be.
Variable-Dot Printing: Why Dots-Per-Inch is No Longer the Only Measure of Inkjet Print Quality
By Jeff Edwards
The correlation of higher quality to higher dpi is certainly defensible, assuming one thing: The dots are all the same size. Recent developments in inkjet technology have turned this standard on its side.
Read the article...
By Jennifer LeClaire
Discover how and when applying vinyl graphics to banners makes good business sense.
Read the article...
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On a portable stroller:
"Caution: Remove infant before folding for storage"
In the manual for a microwave oven:
"Do not use for drying pets"
In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency:
"Take one of our horse-driven city tours -- we guarantee no miscarriages"
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