Posts Tagged: success during recession

What are the rewards of consumer sales promotions for businesses?

It is clear what the benefits of sales promotions are for consumers – and they know it. Demand for rewards and consumer incentives have grown immeasurably in the last year and it’s now what consumers expect wherever they shop. On the surface it would appear that this is a one-sided relationship in which consumers are holding businesses over a barrel. Sales promotion shouldn’t and mostly isn’t something that businesses are forced to resort to. Managed properly and thought out thoroughly, sales promotion can be mutually beneficial – particularly in the current economic climate. So what are the benefits of consumer sales promotions for businesses?

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Is this the end of the sale season?

As Morrisons announce an underlying profit before tax up 22% to £359m (2008/9: £295m) and the Halifax reporting that house prises rose another 0.8% last month there are now definite signs that the recession is slowing and maybe even that the end of our current economic problems are on the horizon. What does this mean for businesses and the average consumer? Will consumers maintain their spending ransom on businesses, forcing them into drastic recession solutions or will we eventually see the end of the sale season?

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Top ten UK & Ireland city breaks – the rewards for consumers and businesses

With Brits spending more and more time holidaying at home on ‘staycations’, I wanted to explore the UK and Ireland to find my favourite city break destinations, seeing what there is to entice tourists there and which businesses are potentially profiting from this increased trade. There are so many different areas in the UK and Ireland, each individual in what they have to offer tourists. And as companies such as The Rocket Marketing Group launch discount clubs like the 241 Hotel Club, which gives members 2 nights for the price of 1 at over 300 hotels, the UK and Irish tourism trade really can now compete with the rest of the world for offering affordable yet interesting and unique holidays.

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Can the British holiday boom last?

There have been many surveys and reports this year indicating an increase in the number of British people taking their holidays in Britain. Travelsupermarket.com conducted research back in July, showing that 50 % of British holiday makers said that they were most likely to book a holiday in Britain in the next 12 months. The ‘staycation’ as it has been dubbed is a new fashion that is fantastic for the British economy. But as we begin the ascent out of recession, can the British hotel trade continue to compete with the allure of foreign holidays that offer the probability of good weather and escapism from our everyday life?

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Waitrose… Pizza Express … does aggressive discounting destroy the brand value?

It seems like all people want at the moment is the cheapest deal, and that lowering prices and putting huge sale posters up is the only way to entice consumers into a shop/business. But with sale savvy shoppers and the help of internet comparison sites how far can this go? Have prices finally reached rock-bottom and how has this aggressive discounting damaged the perceived value of these items/services? Have we allowed the financial panic to reduce brands’ value? The possible recession solutions have raised so many questions for marketing professionals and as we start to see light through the economic gloom the answers are starting to become clearer.

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Cost-effective marketing during recession

Advertising is expensive and whilst it is essential, it becomes increasingly difficult for a business to advertise through the traditional mediums when advertising budgets are being slashed. Companies are looking for more cost-effective ways to promote their brands. There are lots of marketing options and some can prove to be just as effective. This is in part due to the changing times (people absorbing media in different ways) and the improvement of the channels for advertising online etc. This is compounded by the fact that most people now spend time looking for the exclusive discounts available not just the brands they are familiar with.

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Time for the brand identity business to re-evaluate

Declining income, conflicted managers and demoralised staff. If you’re in the brand identity business, it may be time to re-evaluate your business development strategy.

Recently, whilst out-and-about in the branding community, conducting what I now refer to as the rounds, I have noticed a worrying vacuum or, in the wider context of things, an opportunity well worth exploiting.

It is undeniably tough out there – clearly illustrated by frugal cost-cutting, unpaid leave, head-count freezing and many other cautious, overhead reducing activities. However, I am amazed at how so many senior managers are undervaluing the importance and holistic benefits of a clear marketing and business development strategy.

On mass, agencies already on the verge of collapse have started advertising vacancies for generic new business positions. Their posts command applications from candidates who can guarantee a rolodex of clients and qualified leads. In return they offer little more than the most basic salary, an unclear future and very little, if any, security. They too often rely on badly managed and out-of-date contact lists and assign the task of cold-calling to reluctant if not actually telephobic staff, or outsource it to apathetic third-party telephonists.

How then can consultancies expect to grow, during a time when salaries are cut, morale is at an all time low and unpaid leave is encouraged? The answer, I suggest: Agency leaders themselves need to start thinking outside of the box.

Senior partners and managing directors: Regardless of the current economic situation, if the process of business development is not introduced and encouraged throughout the structure of your business, and its importance promoted through every role featured on your organogram, you really will only have yourselves to blame when you are forced to reduce overheads further. Accountability cannot be outsourced.

Developing new business is itself just one component, one step within a wider business development model – a model that includes effective account management, dedicated client service and creative direction. Business development should sit at the core of every business function, and for it to be implemented successfully, the firm’s leaders need to recognise and promote its importance from the outset.

It can help, too, to go back to grassroots, find out what is it that motivates both account managers and creatives, and take time to define the opportunities that your strategists and planners are dreaming of. Surely, the thrill of working on an exciting brief, or pitching to win a new piece of business is a good starting point. By encouraging and endorsing ‘new’ business development in this way you will unlock potential – be it personal ambition and a chance to shine, newly revealed relationships, other previously hidden assets or a surprisingly innovative solution.

Developing new business should not be a lonely, sit-in-the-corner-and-pick-up-the-phone job. In much the same way that as consultants we help clients to positively penetrate the hearts and minds of their employees, agency leaders should encourage, promote and incentivise in-house the function of identifying and nurturing relationships.

Whether you employ a senior professional, or choose to take it upon yourself, you should treat business development as a well-oiled and well-maintained management tool. Business development should sit comfortably within every employee’s remit – especially in those of your most senior team. Remember, people buy people!

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New Marketing Rules

It seems that just about everywhere I turn some marketing guru somewhere is offering me the definitive way to beat the recession through marketing salvation. My in-box is stuffed with offers for courses… free downloads… podcasts and just about everything in between. Having studied most, ignored some and chortled at others, I have decided to throw my own two-pennies worth into the advice jar.

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Rewarding small to medium sized businesses

The British Bankers’ Association reported that the amount banks lending to small businesses rose by 239 million in January, proving that small businesses can still emerge and grow despite the current economic climate.
In some instances small and medium sized companies are actually better
equipped to deal with harsher times as they can be more streamlined,
determined and focused on consumers needs. But are there things that
small businesses can do to optimise these advantages and boost consumer confidence?

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