The recession that we are going through affects every business. Nobody in the private or public sector is immune to the economic downturn that we are facing. I believe that the general outlook for 2009 is bleak. As a small business owner I will be keeping my costs down and always looking for ways to save a few bucks. However, that does not mean that I will stop marketing efforts. In fact, I've learned that this is a great time to market for several reasons. Much of this post will focus on what I define to be the differences in marketing and adverising.
I've found that if I'm not out beating down the bushes looking for new clients and new opportunities then a competitor will be capitalizing on my missed opportunities. This is the perfect time to set up meetings with potential referral sources and work on my online marketing content and create free media.
Marketing does not mean that I have to spend a lot of money. In fact it is just the opposite. I correlate the word advertising with spending money through means such as phonebook advertising, newspapers, television and radio. Those methods have not presented the biggest bang for the buck in my experience. I like to focus more on marketing in which I focus on relationships and the ability to define my unique entire package to potential clients. Advertising tends to focus on creating an image and hoping that potential clients will buy into that image.
As an attorney, I find it useful to market to a lot of potential referral sources. Those sources are in direct contact with people that need my services. Marketing to me is going after a very specific type of fish with a very specific type of bait. Advertising is just throwing a worm in the water hoping to get a bite. I've tried both and especially during a very tough economic situation I see marketing as the best use of time and money.