In 1997 Kevin Costner starred in The Postman. If you’re not familiar, it was set in a post-apocalyptic America where Costner stumbles onto a USPS uniform wherin he begins an elaborate con game that ends up rebuilding America. During the flick, Costner has to lie and say that he’s been in touch with the (non-existent) President of the Restored United States. And what was the Prez’s motto in this post-apocalyptic thriller? “Stuff’s getting better everyday.”
Times have been tough, and although it’s not quite post-apocalyptic tough, at times you may begin to wonder. But, stuff’s getting better everyday. For the last month or so I’m happy to see that indicators show that the markets are beginning to improve. All kinds of news stories, stocks are up, the Federal Reserve says retail sales and manufacturing is up, and men’s underwear sales are rising – time to upgrade fellas.
Although we’re far from comfortable, budgets are beginning to loosen which means many companies are going back to aggressively gaining market share through marketing – whether they should have ever stopped is another post.
We’re working with companies that have decided it’s time to pick up the marketing pace. Here are some of the things that we think you should be doing in preparation for the improving economy.
1) Take a hard look at your branding – Most companies have been hit hard, and throughout the turmoil they have probably been more concerned with avoiding layoffs than deciding if their brand is as effective as it should be. Many marketing tools and techniques have changed over the past few years. Are you digital ready? It might be time to get rid of the flash on your site and make it mobile friendly. Update your literature to include quick response (QR) codes to tie your print information into product video and other assets on your website. Get this stuff out of the way so you can focus on exploiting them in the future.
2) Think long term – If you’ve been reading our blog, by now you’ve learned some inexpensive ways to get publicity for your company and its products. This is great, and now you need to build on that. It’s time to look at your long-term communications plan. If you’ve neglected it, you need to build one soon or be left in the dust.
3) Upgrade your toolbox – There were a lot of technical advances in 2010. Smartphones sales and use are increasing dramatically, a flurry of new tablets have come to market, and wireless connectivity is increasing. This brings a lot of questions to mind that wasn’t necessarily there a year ago. Is your catalog tablet-friendly? Are you using social media to more easily communicate with your customers? Have you considered creating an app for your customers?
The economy is getting better, and now is the time to get your marketing back on track. Start looking at your company’s needs now to make this new road a little less bumpy.