MARKETING MATTERS: BUSINESS PLANNING—MORE CRITICAL THAN EVER

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Tips and tricks for business success and growth
 
 
 
 
by Rama Beerfas
 
August 27, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) –  As I write this, the stock market is up.... sorry it's down... oops, I mean up.... no, it's down..... Yup, we are once again on that wacky roller coaster ride called, "The Economy."
While many businesses see this rock 'n' roll economy as a reason to cut back or eliminate marketing, I contend that is a knee-jerk response which will probably cause more problems than add to the bottom line.
 
With businesses (large and small) failing, cutting back on marketing means less exposure to your customers and prospects. If you are less visible, that gives the impression that: a) you are not doing well and may soon be out of business or b) you've already gone out of business. Either way, people will start to look for other options to meet the needs that you have provided in the past as a safety net. If they are looking elsewhere, they may start buying elsewhere. If they start buying elsewhere, your revenues go down.
Statistics show that approximately 80% of companies that cut back or eliminated their marketing budget during the Great Depression were out of business within three years of the economy turning around. Those same statistics show that the approximately 80% of the companies that maintained or increased their marketing efforts not only picked up market share, but were still in business five years after the depression ended.
One great example of this is Grape Nuts. The first ready-to-eat cold cereal in the marketplace, Grape Nuts owned the cold cereal category from its invention in 1897 up through the Great Depression. When Post, the parent company of Grape Nuts found itself strapped for cash,  they cut their advertising budget, assuming that their hold on the market would stay tight. In 1933, the Kellogg company started actively advertising its various brands of breakfast cereal, doubling its spending on advertising. Grape Nuts sales went down and the Kellogg family of cereals sales went up dramatically. While Post is still in business, and Grape Nuts can still be found on supermarket shelves, which cereal companies has better recognition to this day?
With an example like that to spur you on, what are you actively doing today to market and grow your business?
Rama Beerfas is Chief Solutions Specialist for San Diego-based Lev Promotions, offering complete marketing services from consulting, promotional products, mobile marketing, social media marketing, editorial work and more. Rama also offers seminars and training in marketing and customer service related topics. She can be reached at (619) 697-2045 or at rama@levpromotions.com or visit www.levpromotions.com. Column requests and comments are welcome.