Marketing GPS:
Navigating Your Marketing Options

2010: The Year to Begin Again
By Liz Harsch
of Tailor-Made Advertising
(Torrance, CA)

January 2010

Recessions are often looked at negatively, however they can also be a new beginning for business owners and managers who want to take charge.  Starting new gives you a chance to look at your company from the outside, which can set your business in motion to have a very successful year.  This year, you'll notice some big differences in how shoppers are handling their money.  Your product mix needs to convince a buyer that your products and services are "must haves" this year.

Right-Size Your Offerings

Typically, recessions can result in a lean company that has cut costs to keep profit reasonable.  That means that, like a lean athlete, you can respond quickly to new trends and address any changes in your field.

One example of such a trend is that buyers today are taking on smaller, piecemeal projects instead of doing everything at once.  If your company currently prices your product to benefit those that do the whole project, you may not look competitive.  One option is to create a program that benefits smaller purchases now with incentives to commit to doing more later.  For example, a plastic surgeon may want to market mini-lifts; or a kitchen remodeler may create smaller bathroom or laundry room remodels with a coupon for when customers do a larger project later.

Find Out How Your Company Looks To Potential Buyers Today
Ask your current purchasers about how they view your company.  If they are under the impression that you are too pricey, you need to address that now.  A misconception about your business and your pricing can lead to your product being dismissed.  If you are unaware of customers' perceptions, you will continue to project the same impression which can kill your recovery.  If you have the budget, consider hiring an outside research company since customers tend to give more honest and complete answers to someone outside of your company and appreciate that you care enough to have hired an outside source.

Forget Surviving - It's Time To Thrive
Congratulate yourself as one of the survivors who cut expenses and made the most of the business that was out there.  Now it is time to remember that survival is not your business plan - you want to thrive and grow your business to create a value that you can sell one day.  Warren Buffet says, "You want to sell when others are buying, and you want to buy when others are selling."  That advice will get you the best pricing and an advantage over your competitors.  I suggest that you create promotions that will appeal to your target market and invest in your firm now to reap the benefits of being the first.  Don't fall into shrinking your company when you need to expand - remember it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Planning Is The Key
Now is the time to create a new business plan.  Look at your sales history and put forth a reasonable but aggressive marketing plan that will get you where you need to be.  You need a strategy to answer your customers' question "Why should I buy now?"  A recent example is Sit N Sleep's ad campaign where the owner makes the case that if you've had your mattress for over 8 years, it is infested and needs to be replaced.  They targeted female buyers with this message, who quoted the ad when asked why they needed to buy a mattress now.  This is a prime example of how marketing and advertising plans can actually expand demand.  Arm your sales team with the confidence they need to move your products and services and make your company an example of American Ingenuity.  It all starts with your plan.

Liz Harsch has been helping companies make the most of their Marketing and Advertising plans since 1982.  Her background in small business management helps her understand the financial constraints that small businesses face, as well as the need to initiate and expedite an effective growth plan to achieve your 2010 sales goals.

For more information on making the most of your Marketing and Advertising Plan, contact Tailor-Made Advertising in Torrance at (310) 791-6300 or email us at

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Liz Harsch
Liz Harsch has been a Market Consultant for retail and service companies in Greater LA since 1982.  To learn about her Torrance company visit
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