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When times are tough, what do you do?

Do you pull ‘down the shutters’ or look to spearhead new ways to engage with your customers?

Over the past few years as the economy has tightened, I’ve noticed as I’ve spoken to so many business people across lots of different sectors, that reactions to today’s commercial climate tend to fall into three distinct camps.

So where do you fit in?

Do you, A … eliminate all ‘unnecessary’ expenditure and basically go into hibernation mode while you wait for the difficult times to pass and hope that you’ll still be around to benefit from the better business climate to come. People in this category tend to postpone all marketing expenditure, which means spending nothing on advertising or PR and generally speaking they also stop any spending on maintaining their website and refuse to be drawn into any costs for customer relations or sales support.

Or do you, B … decide that while your competitors are keeping their heads down, now could be the opportunity to gain an advantage. Consequently you ‘go for it’ and substantially increase your marketing efforts and expenditure. Not always a bad tactic if based on proven results that are well measured, but unless you are a larger company that has deep pockets capable of ‘riding out’ a poor campaign outcome, this one could be a serious gamble.

Or, do you, C … conclude that neither of the A and B options necessarily make good business sense, at least not without a financial Guardian Angel, but you recognise that there is a third way in which you can still tighten your belt but with careful planning and foresight you can protect and grow your business.

It is Option C that I’d like to comment on.

This is a strategy that we at AsOne Design sincerely believe in and something that I have personally seen work to the benefit of a business.

Even though it means you may be cutting back on some of your traditional advertising and PR, you still make sure you retain a strong presence and profile within your market sector. And believe me it can be done very effectively with minimal spend required.

I’m talking about developing a powerful online and social media profile. Keeping your website updated and relevant does not have to cost a great deal, but it will constantly promote and increase your brand awareness. Whereas the financial implication of failing to do so can be far more damaging. In addition you can also implement a vigorous programme of low-cost communication to existing clients and prospects via inexpensive marketing initiatives such as regular blogging, economical e-shots, Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin status updates. None of these are expensive and can be achieved in most cases with simply the investment of just a little of your time, but they really do lead to increased client retention as well as successful prospecting for new business.

Online Presence through Innovation Club - AsOne Design If you’re uncertain just how to set up and operate sales initiatives such as these then that is where AsOne’s Innovation Club can be of help.

Our Innovation Club members enjoy access to regular updates, support and seminars that explain exactly how to take full advantage of the online and social media opportunities that are available. In addition we also provide a number of valuable statistic reports & measurement tools that allow you to keep a constant check on how well your efforts are working. Most of our Innovation Club Members simple enjoy the support and reassurance that we are watching over them and helping them keep up with the latest techniques that will keep their competition at bay.

If you haven’t already made a New Years resolution and you want one that can make a difference to the growth and success of your business, consider this – make a plan to increase your online performance and initiate an online profile that lets the world know you’re in business!

Want some help in making it happen? If you haven’t yet investigated our Innovation Club benefits, why not take a look at Innovation Club benefits for more details or give AsOne a call on 0161 368 9100.

“It won’t cost you a fortune, but it could help you to protect and grow your business using the latest, most innovative and cost-effective marketing techniques.”