Sharpening the Saw

Question:  If your consumers are buying less should you market less?  My answer is NO!!  You market better! 

That’s not to say you should be spending more on advertising.  You may find you can spend less and get greater results. 

There are several reasons for this including but not limited to:
Media and event promoters have to discount more aggressively to compete for fewer advertising dollars
Pay-per-click is an auction market and bid price along with budgets of your competitors may be shrinking
What’s more, your competition may be thinning out or choosing to cut back their budgets so your ability to gain some dominance may improve

By the same token marketing is a very broad subject and advertising is only one aspect.  Marketing encompasses positioning, branding, product and packaging design, distribution, and much more.  Technically, even the area of sales comes under the marketing as a channel for distributing the product or service.

Your marketing database, that is your GoldMine database, can and should be one of your most prized marketing tools.  As such it should get a lot of use – in good times and in bad.  When times are slow it’s an excellent opportunity to improve the design, function, and use of your GoldMine system.  Here’s some things you can do to start off:

  • Delete or archive old and useless data
  • Clean up your field properties and lookup lists
  • Redesign your screen layouts
  • Get rid of irrelevant things you don’t use – old groups & filters, outdated templates, unusable reports, knowledgebase entries, and scripts, etc.
  • Improve system performance with hardware and resource upgrades or simply do maintenance on workstations that will speed up machines (e.g. defrag, virus scans, remove applications and other measures)
  • Better incorporate your use of GoldMine into your business processes so you improve office operations and team work

A lot of these steps may come under the category of “sharpening the saw” which is certainly a good thing to do when a slow economy gives you a break to do so!  After all, if you don’t take advantage of slow times for such things, you won’t find the time when the market picks up eventually.

By the same token, you can market better by making better use of your GoldMine system.  Here are some ways to do that:

  • Identify features in your software that are available to you that you’re not using which may add value and give you immediate and greater return on your GoldMine investment
  • Consider add-on products that answer needs your organization has
  • Use queries to find contact records that warrant greater personal attention by either sales or administrative staff
  • Provide users with training and other assistance to help them operate more productively and properly
  • Implement the reports you require to evaluate operations and markets so you can make more objective and better business decisions
  • Use the system to market more effectively and repeatedly to your prospects and customers
  • Integrate with you phones (see our featured products TAPI LINK and Power Dialer) to incorporate speed dialing and power dialing with an in-house telemarketing project to give sales productivity a big boost

Doing these things can counter the effects of poor economy.  The capacity you gain will help you manage more efficiently in both good and bad times. And, when things turn around, you’ll be far better ready to handle the growth.  Plus, since there’s a pretty good chance that your competition will choose “flight” over “fight,” you have the potential to gain market share as a result of your response to the crisis. Wouldn’t that be a nice bonus – winner!