Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Marketing Success in a Down Economy #5 - Feed Your Clients Sunday Dinner

A tough economy creates fear and we all wonder what will happen next -- how will it effect me? This general fear causes us (you, me, your clients) to hunker down and get closer to anything familiar and reject everything that feels risky or uncomfortable. In short, we long to go home for a Sunday dinner -- a safe haven ritual filled with familiar people and feelings.

In this environment what are you saying in all things marketing? Your clients need you to feel familiar and safe to them. They need stability and assurance. So, are your marketing efforts promoting safety and stability or are you still shouting about growth, good times, and new, new ideas? There is certainly room for thinking about the future but sometimes we need the food that is comforting to us.

I would like for this tip to be more complicated but it's not. Are you feeding your clients comfort food and nurturing them? In a down economy it is time to adjust your marketing to what your clients are open to receive.

Time for a story.... Bob talks Harry into climbing a very tall and dangerous mountain. "Being the first to reach the summit," Bob exclaims, "will have us on the front page of the New York Times!" Harry would like to be famous and spent years getting ready for a challenge like this, so he agrees.

As they are ascending the mountain Harry loses his footing, falls over the edge of a deep crevasse and just manages to grab the cliff-edge. Now, dangling by his fingertips with jagged rock 1000 feet below Harry is no longer thinking about fame and fortune. He is thinking about surviving, right now.

Bob could rush over, look at Harry's predicament and continue to proclaim the hugeness of their fame if they reach the top, or Bob could rush over, grab Harry's hand and pull him to safety all the while saying, "Let's just get through this -- everything else comes second." Which message do you think Harry wants to hear?

Which message to you think your clients want to hear when they are feeling challenged by economic news outside their control?

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