When Sales Need Acceleration, Can Marketing Help?

Posted on Apr 12, 2012 in CHI Insight
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Almost everyone’s gotten the call. “Sales are down. What can we do about it?”

It’s not a really sophisticated question, is it? Yet the answers are often complex and challenging. Almost every business at some point faces the reality that sales are not meeting projections.

Of course if you have Wall Street analysts breathing down your neck and a room full of board members and stockholders to face when sales are down, you can count on people wanting to hear the answer to the question, “What’s the plan?”

But even if you’re a small business whose customers just don’t seem ready to buy, the next level of question is, “Can marketing help us move the needle?”

 

“We have a new marketing plan”

When major business publications address the performance of Fortune 1000 companies to find out how they plan to improve quarterly results, they often begin by interviewing the CEO to find out what the plan will be for recovery. And often the first message out of a CEO’s mouth at both B2B and B2C companies is: “We have a new marketing plan to help us reach new customers.”
When sales are down or a company is going through a transition, a new marketing plan really can help, especially if the process of analyzing a company’s marketing serves as a catalyst for new ideas.

 

How marketing can lead the way

One of the first mistakes many companies make when faced with shortfalls is cutting back their marketing budget. It can seem so easy to save money that way. Just slash the outlays and push the sales staff harder, right?

But if your customers are tired of hearing the same old story and people buying your product or services want to see evidence you are on the forefront of your industry, then cutting your marketing program back will create even more problems than it solves.

Instead, invest in practical, intelligently crafted marketing campaigns. Content marketing featuring legitimate success stories, case studies and new product benefits can deliver fresh messaging without need for huge capital outlays. The principal investment is in crafting the message. And on that front, it often helps to get outside help. Fresh eyes often find stories where you thought there were none.

 

What to do when sales are up

The principles of investing in content marketing holds true when sales are up as well. That is no time to rest on laurels or take success for granted. You want to grow! To accomplish growth, you need to reach new customers. And to reach new customers, you have to expand and promote your marketing message. There plenty of tools available these days, many of which work swimmingly well together; social media, content marketing and SEO are a few. All complimentary. And all contribute to a higher company profile.

But it really does come back to content. During good times or tough times, keep your marketing message fresh, evolving and moving forward.

When competition is fierce and sales need acceleration, that is no time to go dark on the marketing message. You want to keep your customers informed, interactive and following your every move. For that is the best strategy to get them “off the dime” and ready to buy.


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