In a Recession CEOs Turn to Sales and Marketing

During a recession most CEOs (chief executive officers) turn to their sales and marketing people to get revenues, profit and liquidity turned around. They do that because most CEOs continue to respect the corporate old wives tale that dictates “Even during a recession the last budget a CEO wants to cut is their sales and marketing budget.”

So, even in these very difficult economic times many CEOs are stretching to protect their sales and marketing people and to sustain their sales and marketing spending levels. Unfortunately, what their CFOs (Chief Financial Officers) are frequently forced to point out is that sustained sales and marketing spending has a direct (negative) correlation with deteriorating financial operating results.

The reason that CEOs are hesitant to cut sales and marketing investments is that sustaining those investments during 20th Century downturns was often the right thing to do. Back in the 20th Century sales and marketing people were often able to work harder, smarter and faster and (with sustained budgets) were able to get turnaround situations turned around. Put another way, sales and marketing folks were often heroic back in the 20th Century. But, that was then . . . and this is now. And here in the 21st Century something fundamental has changed.

Today, Internet wired and inspired customers want what they want . . . when, where, how and at the price that they want it. They know when they are being marketed to and sold to . . . and they do not like it. In fact, they often punish companies whose sales and marketing people push products or services at them by paying only the lowest possible prices and by deserting those companies (in a heartbeat) for an even marginally better competitor.

Because the age of pushing products and services at customers is over (again, thanks to the Internet), maintaining traditional sales and marketing tactics and spending levels, in the face of a recession, may be exactly the wrong thing to do. CFOs seem to instinctively know that. They also seem to instinctively know that stepping back from traditional sales and marketing approaches (which often facilitates substantial budget cuts) is a good idea. Do that allows CEOs to take a zero-based look at who their customers and should be and to determine what it will take to build loyal, sustaining and profitable bonds with them.

So CEOs, if your CFO thinks that you are nuts for sustaining traditional sales and marketing tactics and budgets, listen up! He or she is probably right.

3 Responsibilities of a Sales and Marketing Consultant

Sales and Marketing Plan – You Just Need to Run Some Ads so People Will Know Who You Are

If you believe that line your sales and marketing plan is headed for zero results. Here’s why most ads don’t work: people don’t read ads, you have your picture in the ad and no one cares, your ad doesn’t say anything that interests your potential readers, and your ad doesn’t have a valid reason for your reader to want to connect with you. Consequently you spend a lot of money running ads that get you no results now and will continue to get you zero results as long as you run them.

Don’t include ads in your sales and marketing plan that people won’t read. People don’t read ads unless they have something they are specifically looking to buy. The problem with your ads is there isn’t anything for them to recognize as something they want to buy. Remove your picture. Remove your company logo. Remove the spiel about how great you are. Do have an attention getting headline that gets them to stop and read your message. People will read ads that get there attention and talk about the problems they’re experiencing.

Your ad has to do more than have your picture and some spiel about you and your company. If you want advertising to be an effective part of your sales and marketing plan you have to set yourself up for success not failure. That means your ad needs to be directed to a specific group of people not the public at large. When your prospect reads the headline they should already be able to identify themselves as the person this message was intended for.

A generic message in a generic publication has almost no chance of benefiting you and leading to future sales. Your ad needs to target a specific group and be in a publication read by that group. It should communicate that you understand a particular problem the members of that group have, and that you have information that will help them with that problem.

Advertising can be an effective part of your sales and marketing plan you just have to do it the right way. Doing it right means sending the right message to the right people at the right time via the right tool. When you have a clear and strong message that resonates with your readers they will reach out and connect with you.