Marketing in a recession: When the going gets tough . . .

by Sarah on March 25, 2010


Last Saturday, we took a family bike ride.

Sounds ordinary enough – but it wasn’t.  See, winter still had us in its clutches – instead of bike helmets we donned snowboard helmets.  Mittens and parkas kept us covered.  And while the skies only looked leaden when we started out, by the time we were well into our route, snow was falling.  The frozen bits stung our cheeks as we cruised down our first big hill.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that we’d been without power for two days?

But as the trip progressed, our moods went up as well.  We stopped by various friends in the neighborhood, checking in to see how they were fairing with the power outage.  Talk of freezers and generators and wells speckled with a few jokes about the weather.

By the time we reached home, we were feeling quite merry.  In fact rather than racing inside, the kids engaged in a wrestling match in the snow while C and I walked the backwoods to check our sap buckets and assess next year’s wood supply brought down by the recent storm.

When we finally dipped in to our soup near the wood stove we were feeling pretty good.

What we did that is an essential lesson for right now.

When it snows and the power’s out, go biking!

What do I mean?

I mean that when the economy is in the dumps and continues to dip; when things look rough, go deep and push harder.

That’s what I’m doing with my writing business.  I’m investing in more learning opportunities, jazzing up my website (I’ll let you know about this more), developing some more info products (to be announced), and putting some steam in my marketing.

If you’re a health publisher, a supplement business, a health provider, a marketer or a writer, now’s the time to push.  Now more than ever.

Now remember, I didn’t send my kids out without warm helmets, mittens and deeply-grooved mountain bike tires.  Nor should you leap without looking and careful assessment.

But the history of business is this.  The businesses that continue to invest in the future – in infrastructure, innovation and especially marketing – are the ones that take up some space and speed into the front runner positions.

If you’re a health product manufacturer or retailer or a health service provider – health needs never go away. And now, more than ever, people are looking for more DIY solutions, preventative tactics – information and products that can help them gain control over this most immediate part of their life while so much spins out of control.

Find them.  Help them find you.

And here are some ideas to focus on that will help you get the most bang for your buck:

  1. Work on search engine optimization and marketing.  PPC and adwords allows you to quickly and relatively cheaply test marketing materials to get the best conversion.  SEO gives you even more credibility with people who find you this way.
  2. Work on your list-building.  Make your PPC campaigns, your PR and as much of your marketing materials as possible focus on driving traffic to optins.  Once you have them as part of your “captive” audience, you can really sit down and have a conversation with them and convince them to check out your offerings.
  3. Do everything you can to capture any traffic that comes to your website with strategic optins.  A slideon registration box that comes on as people are leaving your website is a great way to avoid being boorish but still grab people’s attention.
  4. Create some strategic free tastes that will entice people to sign up.  Videos are all the rage and seem to be working.  But I still think an info-packed report does wonders – easier to skim through and download than a video. And give free tastes with good blog entries, good articles in your newsletters, good info in your marketing materials.
  5. Get social.  I’m still learning my way through this one.  But here’s what I’m doing so far: Identify one or two places to focus your efforts and work on them (I’ve chosen Twitter and Linkedin). Develop some strategies to get more efficient and focus in on your goals and then stick with them.
  6. Learn and Adjust. Use the data from your website analytics, your email service, etc.  But just as important seek feedback from your customers and use it, too.  And really finetune your marketing and offerings.

As it happens, I’m offering a couple of nice get-to-know you intro services at a nice price (under $1000) with a very nice bonus for the next two weeks.  They’re a good way to strategically boost your natural health marketing and I’m hoping I won’t have to market too much once the farming season hits, my kids are home for the summer and I’m super busy.

What tactics are you using to ride face first into this snowstorm and still keep smiling?


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shai Powell March 25, 2010 at 12:52 PM

I agree with taking this time to rev up your biz. Since the recession I have had a lot of people ask me about what they can do to get healthier. When my practice is not full with clients I take the time to do research and have also enrolled in school to amp up my skills. This was a good newsletter you wrote. Keep up the good work.

Download Internet Explorer June 1, 2010 at 9:50 AM

great share, great article, very usefull for me…thank you
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