In order to gain that market share for your station, you need to ensure that your brand is top of mind with potential clients and in your market. Tough times are a good time to increase market share. There are a few things you can do either inexpensively or at a ‘less than normal’ cost to increase the awareness.
Continue to market yourself
Avoid the temptation to slash or completely cut out your marketing budget. Because that’s exactly what so many other companies are doing, this will put you far ahead of the competition. Continuing to market your station will keep you at the forefront of customer’s minds. When the time comes for clients to start spending dollars on advertising, you will be one of the first calls they make since you’ve continued to market to them. This rule of thumb is not only for your local market, but also how you approach agencies for national advertising dollars.
Find another company that has the same ideal client and share advertising costs with them. Think about your best strategic partners— those businesses that bring you business, such as a local advertising agency. They may be the perfect match for sharing some billboard space or creating a special promotion. They need to reduce costs and continue marketing themselves also. It may be the perfect solution for both of your needs.
Joint venture on events or promotions
Got a conference or event where you’d really to like exhibit or participate, but are choking on the costs? Think of a partner that could benefit from sharing expenses and share the expense. If you have a great idea for a promotion, but are afraid the budget isn’t there, figure out how you can make in an irresistible promotion for both yours and another company. Joint ventures create win-wins for everyone involved.
Another idea is to create an event to joint venture on. For example, create a marketing conference for local businesses. You can partner with agencies, non-profits such as the advertising association, etc. to manage and promote the event. As a bonus, all the participants will be potential clients.
Get out and be seen. Now isn’t the time to crawl back into your shell like a turtle. It’s a time to go to events, meet people in person, and talk to them eye-to-eye. There will never be a replacement for the human touch. Because others are cutting back on going to events, you have a more captive audience with the folks that do show up. Make sure you follow up with phone calls, emails, or personal meetings. Reaching out to just check in with someone is of little to no cost.
Offer new and/or creative payment terms
All companies are looking to streamline costs. Look at how you can get creative with payment plans or offer new ways to pay. Many businesses want to continue to market, but need to leverage credit or stretch payments out. See what types of credit you take or can take. How can you make the transaction easy? Think about accepting online payments. Work with the accounting department to come up with creative payment options and offer that as a bundle or promotion to businesses willing to continue to advertise.
Continue to do research and development of new products, promotions, and preferences of your audience. This doesn’t have to be an expensive venture. There are many tools on the market such as SurveyMonkey.com that will allow for zero budget to a minimal amount to create a survey you can put on your website to ask listeners and viewers what their preference are. Doing this not only gives you the ability to sell more products, but also demonstrates that your company is always looking for ways to make life easier for your customers.
By employing these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to gaining market share— even during a tough economy. This positions you for rapid growth when the economy turns around.
–Lauren L. Darr is President of LOI International, a marketing strategy firm specializing in the broadcast industry. She has 20 years marketing experience with over 15 of those devoted to broadcast. Lauren has been named as a “Woman to Watch” and as one of the “Women Who RULE” in sales and marketing by the American Women in Radio and Television. You can reach Lauren at [email protected] or visit the website at www.loi-international.com.