The Importance of Marketing during Good Times as well as Bad times

When there is over-confidence & over optimism in the market, value often takes a backseat and consumers indulge. When the time gets tough, consumers often tighten their purse strings and value comes to the driving seat. Cutting prices doesn't sound like such a good idea if you might be getting less work to begin with. 

A good marketing plan can help launch a new business or grow an existing one.  There are, however, numerous common marketing mistakes.  One of the biggest mistakes that we have encountered is that numerous business owners concentrate far less on marketing during good times falling into the trap of being in a comfort zone.

Accordingly these same business owners often panic when times begin to get tougher and begin implementing marketing strategies (often for the first time).  Common sense would suggest that it is often difficult to determine which marketing strategies work best, that a business should be implementing more than one marketing strategy and often as many as ten simultaneously and that actual visual results usually take time.

Below are a few pitfalls to avoid:-

  1. Not Marketing to a Defined Group: Find your target audience and gear your marketing plan to that audience. Trying to appeal to everyone typically does not work.
  2. Inconsistency in Your Marketing Efforts: You need to have the same look and feel across all of your ads, promotions, and overall marketing plan.  Branding and consistency can be most important.
  3. Lack of Diversification: Marketing on television, in print or on the Internet alone will reach only a portion of your potential customers. Plan to market creatively through a cross-section of media so that customers become familiar with your brand and your products at different times and in different places.
  4. Not Focusing on Repeat Business: Repeat business typically makes up 80 percent of customers in most businesses. Too often marketing campaigns are heavily focused on bringing in new customers and not building relationships with current ones.
  5. Starting Too Late: Time your marketing campaigns to coincide with new products, new services, seasonal sales or an upcoming event that will attract business. This typically means preparing well in advance.
  6. Not Having a Clear Marketing Message: Marketing messages that are contrived, confusing, too subtle or too long can easily miss the target market entirely. The most ingenious marketing plan is wasted if no one gets it.
  7. Going Overboard: If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Too much hype will turn people away.
  8. Forgetting That Slow and Steady Wins the Race: If you blow your entire marketing budget on a Grand Prix ad, then what can you do next? Marketing means building a reputation over time through ongoing exposure.
  9. Not Getting Feedback: Test your marketing ideas and do focus groups. Don't launch it without getting some feedback first.
  10. Making a Change for the Sake of It: Just because you are tired of your marketing plan doesn't mean it isn't working. Too many marketers make changes because they think they have too.  Often a tried and true formula will keep working.  

Source: - AllBusiness.com Inc. and adapted for   Call in for a Coffee.

Raja’s Fashions Case Study

Raja’s Fashions Tailors was founded by Raja Gulati in 1963 in Ubon-Ratchathani in the North East of Thailand. During the Vietnam War, Raja opened a shop outside the USAF base known as Raja’s “Wolf Pack” tailor after the nickname for the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, which was based in Ubon. When the Vietnam War was over and the Americans left Udorn in 1975, some officers from JUSMAG invited Raja to open a store in Bangkok.  The Raja’s Fashions Tailors business is now run by Raja & Bobby Gulati, a Father & Son Family Business.

The marketing techniques adopted by the Gulati Family can be summarised as follows:-

Memory

People are much more likely to remember your name if you always remember theirs. 

Workmanship & Service Standards

Word of mouth advertisement has been a significant part of Raja’s success which of course means that if customers are happy with the end product they will and do spread the word.

Memberships

Raja’s Fashions actively participates in different chambers of commerce operating in Thailand.  They often sponsor and send representatives to chamber events and social gatherings around Bangkok. Presently Raja’s Fashions is the leading tailor in Bangkok serving, Members of the American Chamber of Commerce, Australian Chamber of Commerce, British Chamber of Commerce and leading expat executives.

One particularly creative and effective way that they get involved in such events is by sending a photographer to take pictures throughout the events.  They then develop the photos immediately and place them in Raja’s branded frames around the venue for attendees to collect on the way out.  Not only does this give people a souvenir from the event but every

time they look at their picture they will remember that they got it from Raja’s.

Advertising

On another front, they have found that it is effective to invest in niche marketing opportunities within trade or organization publications.  This allows them to target specific market sectors that represent ideal customers.

Charitable Contributions & the Community

Participating in and acting as a driving force behind fund raising events like charity golf tournaments allows them to reinvest some of the business community’s good fortune back into the communities where help is needed most. 

Website

Another important frontier that will soon be reached by Raja’s is the establishment of an effective web presence able to communicate their expanding capabilities and forward looking intentions.

In Summary

At the end of the day the quality of Raja’s products and services is the most important factor in maintaining a healthy client base.  Don’t believe anyone who tells you that business isn’t personal.