Tag Archive for 'Stephanie Hobbs'

Don’t let your small business “go dark” this year

Even when things are going really well, we small business owners are not always the best we can be when it comes to marketing strategy and funding. The primary reasons are pretty simple, but no less unfortunate:

- We often don’t understand the holistic approach to successful marketing
- We typically aren’t trained at developing marketing strategies
- We too often don’t employ – or contract with – marketing professionals
- We don’t establish a marketing budget that is strategic, targeted and adequate

Sadly, if our marketing acumen and financial commitment could use some improvement when the economy is rocking and rolling, marketing is also too often the first budget casualty when the economy falls off the table. But this is sooo counter-intuitive when you think about it. Yes, revenue may be off and cash is tight, but the worst thing that can happen to you when things slow down is to drop off the radar of customers and prospects. In the broadcast business this is called “going dark.”

So next time you’re tempted to cut or discontinue any element of your marketing strategy, if you ask yourself this question, you’ll be able to make a better decision: “If I can’t afford this program, can I afford to “go dark” with the prospects it was designed to target?”

In these challenging times, we should all take a hard look at all of the money we’re spending on marketing and advertising to make sure it fits with our current business goals and economic realities. But as my grandmother would have said, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” That’s a grandmother’s way of saying, “Don’t go dark.”

Recently, Stephanie Hobbs joined me on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, and we talked about small business marketing in the current economic conditions. Stephanie is Vice President of Communications for the Yellow Pages Association (yellowpages.com). Take a few minutes to listen to what this expert has to say, and I think you’ll pick up a few tips on how to not “go dark.” And as always, please leave your own marketing wisdom or other comment.

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