What once was normal for marketers isn’t anymore. Once you could write a press release and get your information out there the way you wanted. Now, everyone has a podium to discuss your products and your business and you have very little or no control over what they say. Once you could on seeing a lift from a running a flight on a particular broadcast channel, now your well-crafted and creative commercial gets DVR’d or Tivo’d.
Back when things were normal you could always count on the holiday season to make your year. Now you don’t even try to make a year, just the quarter. Things have changed forever. People’s buying habits. The way they communicate. How brands interact with their end users. And the economy.
Everything isn’t normal, and it’s never going to be again. So what’s a marketer to-do? Well, if you can adapt, think quickly on your feet, and not be afraid of trying new things, then you will do fine.
But if you’re hunkered down in survival mode, waiting for things to simmer down, or the other shoe to drop, you’ll be missing out on a lot of markets hare and dollars. Sure there are too few spendable dollars floating around out there, that only means that it will be the smart marketer who can chase them will get them.
Here’s how to survive the upcoming years of not normal.
1. Realize that Normal Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Normal has moved out of the house, and he’s not coming back. Ever. So don’t enshrine his things in his old room and be pining away on the couch for him. Don’t leave the porch light on, and don’t be jumping up looking out the window every time a car drives by. He’s left you and is not coming back. Face it.
2. Get abnormal! Now that you have accepted the fact that things aren’t normal, and never will be again, you can start thinking abnormally. Yes. You are now free to think differently, act differently, spend differently and be different. Liberating isn’t it? Nothing else is normal, so why should you do the same things you’ve always done? That’s nuts. Getting abnormal is the most rational thing you can do as a marketer right now.
3. Advertise and market your buns off! When the economy tanks, marketers and CFO’s get jangled. They cut marketing and advertising budgets in some sort of pre-emptive strike against the bad indicators. But in reality, all they are really doing is setting the stage for a self-fulfilling prophecy that portends poor sales and declining numbers. Well duh. You’ve just pulled back on your ad spends, people aren’t hearing about you any more making you out of sight, out of mind, and out of luck. What a marketer needs to do in a down turn is advertise, advertise, and advertise some more. That way your brand becomes the loudest in the marketplace, you gain heaps of exposure, and then leap frog over stronger competitors because they, like the rest of the marketing lemmings, have bailed on advertising. The only cost that actually pays. Don’t be like them. Don’t be normal.
4. Hire Smart. Hiring smart means hiring people who are versatile, quick and eager to get on with things. There’s no shortage of qualified, good talent to be had in just about every discipline. Now is the time to conduct a few search and rescue missions to secure the talent that you couldn’t afford to hire a few years ago. They need the work, you get a good person. And when your sales begin to improve because you’ve advertised your buns off, you’ll be glad they’re on your team and can reward them for their dedication appropriately.
5. Stay on top of all the new tech and social media trends yourself. You. Yes you. Get a Twitter account. Follow a few people. Join Linked-IN and Facebook. Do all those new fangled things that your audience does. You personally need to learn them. Not a subordinate. You.
We hope that helps you understand the new normal! Watch for more tips on our next post.
Author: Timo Matero, CEO, The Accelerator Companies