I had the privilege of speaking at Automation Alley’s Accelerate 2011 event, here in Southeast Michigan today – an event designed to help businesspeople think differently heading into what could be a different year for many of us. I was asked by organizers to speak to an engaged, motivated group about how to think differently in this “down economy” when it comes to business communications.
As part of a panel that included a sales trainer and a business attorney, I let the audience know that the number one mistake made by too many companies when the economy started to worsen was to end or cut marketing and/or communications programs. I predict that many of those that decided to “stay under the radar” or become a “well kept secret” will not survive in the long run. That illogical decision-making will simply prove to be bad for business. Think about this – how many “under the radar companies” are you considering doing business with now?
For the rest of the companies that are still trying to find their way, this is really their last chance to start thinking differently and approach communications in new ways, as we frequently discuss on this blog. It’s past time to stop marketing to your executives and your dinner table focus groups and time to communicate squarely to your targets, through the channels that reach them best. The decision to let business needs, rather than spreadsheets, determine your communications and marketing budgets is long overdue.
What does your company do? How it is different? How are you communicating that? How are you marketing to support sales, rather than just asking salespeople to sell? If you have trouble answering those questions, you need some help. And it’s time to get it, before the best communicators in your industry are able to take advantage of the improving economy (whenever that happens). This is your last chance to communicate differently. Otherwise, “under the radar” likely will mean “under red ink.”