Marketing Success in a Down Economy

Marketing success in a down economy. Yes, your business CAN!

The Coronavirus has brought almost everything to a screeching halt. Tough times indeed, but the final story has not yet been written. Fighting for the success of your business is CRITICAL!

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Keep your business marketing and diversify!

The Great Depression was one of the hardest economic times for consumers and companies in American history. However, a few companies doubled down on their marketing and advertising. They adapted, and even developed new products/services during that time. That is to say, consumers still had options and choices to fit their budget.

No matter the economic climate, day of the week, time of the year – someone, somewhere, is still doing business. Shouldn’t YOUR business be out there to compete?

Sure, maybe people won’t replace their HVAC systems and buy add-ons like UV lights and extra filters, but there’s still repairs to be made. Maybe they will buy the add-on!

Windows will still need to be replaced. Construction of new homes and buildings will still take place. People will still need to see the dentist. Cars will need to be repaired or insured. Groceries will still be purchased. Shoes will still wear out. Grass will inevitably grow and lawns will need to be cut. Some of these businesses may be halted right now. Doesn’t matter, there will still be demand in due time. High demand!

Until then, read on about how to diversify…

Life will go on we will adapt. Money may not flow as freely as it has in the past few years, but it will still flow. Thinking about it, maybe we took everything we had for granted (which is a totally alternative topic.) However, consumers still need products! Let them know you are there and can get them what they need!

1. Proctor & Gamble

How did Proctor and Gamble beat the Depression? Things got tough when grocery customers started cutting their orders. Inventories piled up. P&G realized that even in a depression people would still need soap (again no matter the time, day, economic climate, someone somewhere is doing business.) So, customers decided they may as well buy from Procter and Gamble. Why? Because they saw them, and saw them often.

Instead of pulling back their advertising, P&G throttled up. The company researched and actively pursued new marketing avenues, including commercial radio broadcasts. One of these tactics involved sponsoring daily radio serials aimed at homemakers, the company’s core market. In 1933 P&G debuted its first “soap opera”, Oxydol’s Own Ma Perkins. Women around the country quickly fell in love with the tales of the kind widow.

This program was so successful that P&G started cranking out similar programs to support its other brands. By 1939, the company was producing 21 of these so-called “soap operas.” In 1940, the company started its own production division for soap operas. By 1950, it made the first ongoing television soap opera, The First Hundred Years.

2. Martin Guitars

Like entertainment of the time, musical instruments would seem to be a vulnerable industry in a down economy. As a result, venerable acoustic guitar maker Martin made it through the Depression utilizing strategies that were deliberate and well thought out. Martin is known for some of the most high-end guitars in the world today. The company stuck to its principle of not giving high volume retailers discounts, which maintained its relationship with smaller dealers and cemented the company’s image as a fair manufacturer.

Martin also created an “entry level” line and began offering the new, less expensive models. They went on to enjoy great popularity. The ​guitar that comes to mind when someone says “acoustic guitar” is the “dreadnought” born out of necessity during The Great Depression.

Once again, marketing success in a down economy.

3. Breweries

Ah, Breweries! Yes, money was tight, but brewer’s core product, beer, wasn’t even legal! Talk about having it BAD! During national Prohibition from 1920 to 1933, about half of the country’s breweries closed their doors. Alternatively, several hung in hoping and working for a repeal. How did these brewers make ends meet during the Great Depression when they couldn’t sell beer to a distressed population of people? Worse, people who didn’t have jobs? By diversifying.

And then diversifying some more…. And maybe even a little more…

Brewers started venturing out into other enterprises including running dairies, selling meat, and other agricultural enterprises. Brewers were also allowed to make “near beer” that had only trace amounts of alcohol. Breweries applied their expertise to soft drinks like ginger beer. Frank Yuengling, who headed the brewery of the same name outside of Philadelphia, remained confident that Prohibition was just a phase. He personally diversified widely, including a foray as a bank president and opening a dance hall.

In the end, waiting out the storm by diversifying (and maybe brewing some illicit beer on the side) turned out to be a sound marketing strategy. According to a survey done by the American brewing ​industry, eight of the 10 largest brewers in the U.S. are pre- Prohibition brands that survived through the Depression.

Coors Brewing Company also diversified and weathered the storm during the Great Depression. Good stuff! We all (beer lovers) appreciate this today! Check out more brewery success stories here: https://www.history.com/news/brewers-under-prohibition-miller-coors-busch-yuengling-pabst

Another example of marketing success in a down economy.

A photograph of a case of Coors Original Banquet beer outdoors.
Conclusion.

So, don’t say there’s not opportunity in a down market. Don’t say no one needs what I’m selling, or I can’t sell what I have. Use all of your resources and brainpower right now to come up with a plan.

We’re all going to take hits during this crisis, but take a minute and think through your business, your verticals, and your products. Can you diversify? Where can you create a new product line? How can you create a new avenue of marketing to drive demand for your product? While it won’t be easy, it’s certainly possible to succeed in a slumping economy.

We’re here to help in any way we can. Drop us a line.

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Importance of Updating Your Website

Our topic this week is the importance of updating your website regularly. What’s the first thing you do before you buy a product or need more information on a company? You check their website. The website is often the first impression of your business. The importance of updating your website can affect many aspects of your business too. Therefore, it needs to be respected at the highest level. 

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Keep it simple.

Have you ever been to a company’s website where they don’t have links working? Perhaps it takes you to the wrong page, the pictures aren’t updated, or company information isn’t updated either? Yuck. We don’t want that for you and you shouldn’t want that for yourself. Whether you are doing it on your own, or you have a marketing company doing this for you, here are a few things to make sure you are keeping up to date.  


1. Update the information.

This is probably the most important thing to keep track of. If you have new events you would like people to come to, make sure you are adding them to the site. Hired some awesome new people? Make sure their faces are on there and take off the faces of former employees. If you have new photos of your products, these need to be the center of the website. People are very visual, and they like seeing clean and crisp websites. This also includes a good design that is mobile friendly. 


2. Security.

You do not want your site to get hacked, that is a no no! We won’t go too deep into this, but hackers can use your website as a spam server. This, in the end, will block people from actually viewing your website. There are smarter people than us that can talk to you more about this.  


3. Analytics.

If you have an ecommerce site and you see a huge percentage of people adding to the cart, but nobody going through the checkout, MAYBE something is wrong with your site. This is crucial for your business. Make sure you have a great user experience and continue to make updates. 


4. SEO.

Search Engine Optimization. Optimize the words people are searching in Google, to ultimately find you. This is very important and a necessity for your business. As a result, customers can find you more easily.

 
5. Usability.

Is your website loading slow? That is so painful for the young generations. Certainly, you don’t want to irritate them. So, resize images, update plug ins, or do whatever you need to do to make it quicker. We are a microwave society and need information in just a few seconds. If your website is loading slow, there is a good chance they will just close their browser and move on to a different source of information. Likewise, make sure links are working and sending the user to the right page. For that reason, and many others, user experience is a big deal. Above all keep it simple, easy, or even fun for your customers.

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Great Ways to Propel Your Marketing in 2020

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Looking for great ways to propel the marketing efforts for your business this year? We’ve got you covered. By the way, Happy 2020! 

Bills of money and 77 Design Co business card.

Back when we began this little partnership venture that is 77 Design Co, we had a lot of great ideas on how to help local businesses become more marketable. Though, occasionally, we got a little sidetracked over the last few years. Well, we’ve made it a mission to get back to our roots for 2020. Some of these ideas can really boost your engagement and increase interest in your brand. 

Employee of the Month-Recognition

Do you like your employees? Yea, that’s what we thought. Likewise, others probably do too. Especially their families and friends. Showcase your employees within your marketing strategy. Create a monthly employee program that highlights and recognizes their efforts! 

Marketing is all about displaying what you do, but also a HUGE part of it is showing WHO YOU ARE as a company. What better way than to pull out your best people and brag about them? They will most likely be appreciative, and this can also increase employee morale. Take a photo of them. Hang it up. Write a blog about them (or let them write it.) Do a quick video interview. Post an image and short blurb about them on Instagram and/or Facebook. Heck, put it to LinkedIn too.

Explain to customers why this individual is so important. Show them off!

Employee Blog-Make it Fun

As listed above, write a blog or interview an employee each month. They will undoubtedly open up about things they enjoy, what they like about your company, and their family. Want to attract attention to your business while doing something nice? This is a great way to say thank you. 

If you really want, you can allow them to write a blog about themselves and your company. Therefore, this could be interesting to see how they perceive working for you. They may even be more open about themselves. Authenticity is a great magnet in marketing. People also love to see individuals that they know being recognized for their achievements. 

Social Media Posting-Social Media is Social

Engagement/reach on your FB business page down? As a result, you need to do something that will attract attention. Another great way to propel your marketing in 2020 is definitely through social media. It’s on the rise. Make posts about how awesome your team is! Tag them. Show what they do and how well they do it.

For instance, “Joe” may be your best warehouse worker. He never calls off, shows up on time, and goes above and beyond every day. “Joe” obviously cares about your company and has its best interests at heart. Snap a few nice photographs with “Joe” hard at work. Maybe get one with him in front of the building or on break. Similarly, you can create a short video or interview with “Joe.” Tell a story, and do the best you can to make a video or the images aesthetic. Share this to social media. Do this each month with a new team member or office staff. This will increase engagement and spur interest in WHO your business is, not just what you do.

Pets & Products & Customers

Yep, you read that right. If you have a small staff of employees or are an individual business owner, use a pet as a mascot. Have “Fido” create the content and speak to your customers. For instance, “Fido” can solve problems or offer free advice. Perhaps you can create a persona for your pet “Fido.” Make it fun and informative.

Likewise, you can create a Product/Service or Customer of the Month program and utilize the same tactics as above. However, you may need to use your imagination a little to figure out ways that you can make it interesting. Display creative photos, designs, and videos of products, or even customers that are delighted with your services. Offer a product/service discount each month.

There are countless ways to propel your marketing efforts but hopefully these help get those creative juices flowing. These are all great ways to propel your marketing in 2020.

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What’s the Best Things About Email Marketing?

What’s the best things about email marketing?

by Email Marketing Girl

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Personalize!
You can personalize content. Send customers emails about what they actually want to see. Let’s give you an example.
You are an 18 year old male vegan. Typically, you shop at a local grocery store every Monday, getting fruits and veggies and some household necessities.
<Insert phone buzz> you get an email from that grocery store with “ON SALE – steaks and baby food” uhhhh – not the content that person wants to see. At least I wouldn’t think so. Therefore, change it up. Create a custom email for specific types of customers who you want to get a specific message to. As a result, you’ll notice an engagement increase and subsequently sales as well.
Instant!
It’s instant. People love last minute deals or coupons. Getting an email for a coupon to a store I always shop at is a great feeling. Yes! I will now order that shirt I have been eyeing up for weeks.
However, without that email, it was out of sight out of mind.

Side view of laptop with e-mail interface on blurry background. Email marketing concept.
Email Marketing can work!

Reach.
Email can help you reach a mass amount of customers. Calling all your customers takes time. Email: one click and it’s out the door to everyone.
This form of marketing is affordable. Traditional marketing like TV ads can be costly. If you are a small business, those ideas are out the door. For instance, if you have a smaller budget set aside, an email marketing plan could be a game changer. So, a small business can thrive with the right email marketing strategy!
On the other hand, email marketing is a numbers game. That is to say, like anything there are always pros and cons. Any form of marketing though, may take a little while to become fruitful. Patience is necessary when applying any marketing strategy.
However, it’s still one of the top forms of communication. All businesses should have an email marketing plan in place, and if you don’t, give us a call.
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Learn About Click Through with Email Marketing Girl

Hello world, Email Marketing Girl here again.
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Click Through
Want a better click through rate?
Let’s start by understanding what a click through rate really is. Sounds simple, right? It is!
Don’t let marketing metrics scare you. A click through rate is just a percentage of customers who open up the email and actually click on a link. There, click THROUGH.
As of March 2019 ( Constant Contact), the overall industry average click through is 7.43%. The open rate is 16.74%. This all makes sense. Email metrics are just a funnel. Starting with a big number of people. Not everyone will open. Not everyone who opens will click. And not everyone who clicks will buy.
However, the better content you have, the better open rates, the better click rates, and so on. This is common for most marketing strategies also. Not everything will work immediately because it takes time. For instance, as we’ve stated before, any marketing is like a slow drip. It takes a little time to build up to your successful goal.
So let’s think, who are your customers and what content do they want to see come through their email? You don’t want to send the same email content to person A that likes outdoors and hiking as person B that likes shopping and going to the spa. Some of that content should be targeted to their wants and needs. Customize, baby, customize! Therefore, the more targeted, the more the person feels you understand them.  In short, know what they want so it becomes a 1:1 conversation with them and the brand.
Want to know more about email marketing metrics? Want a better click through? Call us!
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What Do You Want to Know About Marketing Your Business?

As a local marketing firm, we are constantly seeking input from business owners that we work with, because we want to know! We want to know what issues you face on a day to day basis regarding your business.

Is it finding the best social media reach due to the ever changing algorithms? Maybe, you struggle with getting your website found online? 77 Design Co hears problems from customers regularly about failed marketing attempts, or more specifically failed web design. The overall design of your website may be a problem you’d like to know more about.

A ton of money can go into a marketing strategy and not produce the intended results. What we do to improve this, is meet with the business owner(s) and truly learn as much as possible about their business and competition, then assess a solution. Working together with someone you trust, and crafting the best message you want to get out can help produce tremendous results.

Speaking of competition, maybe that is an issue you face? If your competition is succeeding in something and you are not, what can we do to improve that? Is your competition pounding money into a market that you can’t compete in? We’ll work that out…and help you do it better!

Providing free initial marketing consultations is something we do on a daily basis at 77 Design Co. Feel free to leave a comment or shoot us an email regarding the problems and pain points you face with your business’s marketing. Let’s find a niche for your business and exploit the best way to draw attention to you. We’ll work together with you and your staff to resolve these and other issues, then truly design a marketing/advertising strategy that will work for your budget and produce new customers. We look forward to hearing from you! Let’s make this year better than last!

Analyze. Create. Achieve.