There’s no denying that times are tough. While you can’t control the economy, you can control how you respond to it. Many companies Balloon react by reducing overall spending and in the process, stop communicating with clients to preserve the bottom line. But without our customers where would you be? All companies are based on relationships: with your customers, potential customers, and employees. Companies that can expand and strengthen these relationships when times are tough are the companies that not only survive, but prosper, especially when things turn around.
Here are a few tips that will help you engage your customers and keep your company top of mind in 2009:
1. Continue to Connect: Ongoing communications with clients reminds them that you’re still there for them. With businesses and individuals spending less this year on their marketing, your message has a better chance of reaching target audiences. However, if you’ve fallen off the map, they may forget that they need your services after all.
2. Add Value, Build Confidence: People are looking for insight and advice during economic downturns. By listening to industry Balloon trends and communicating your perspective, you are positioning yourself as an expert and linking confidence back to your brand. This is the prime opportunity to present your story in a less cluttered news environment.
3. Strengthen your Spokespersons: To communicate your company’s core value, now is the time to train or refresh your messaging by training appropriate spokespeople. Identify a credible and informed communicator who will be the voice of the company. Although the CEO usually speaks on behalf of their company, employees should be well-versed on your core messages and values. Remember that employees are your unofficial spokespersons: they communicate every day with family, friends, customers, and potential customers about how they view the company. By keeping employees engaged and informed, you can control communication internally and externally.
4. Listen and Observe: Feedback is a necessary form of measurement. Talk to your stakeholders, vendors and employees – you may find insights that will surprise you. Knowing what your employees, customers, investors and even your competitors think about your business will help you deliver a better product or service.
5. Embrace New Media: As the news cycle shortens and print media continues to lose marketshare, it is important to think about how to position yourself in this changing environment. Social media networks, E-zines, blogs, and video sites are all potential tools you can use to communicate your brand and learn more about your customers. These terms may sound overwhelming, but ignoring them may mean missing key opportunities to connect with your customers and employees.