Monday, January 21, 2008

Money for Marketing... (or Money OR Marketing?)

As financial commentary continues to suggest an economic recession ahead (SOMETHING'S got to sell business newspapers, mags, and talking heads), most companies' first reactions are to cut costs... and they usually start with marketing, also viewed as the "fluff" department, right when they need to get their message out and stay in front of customers the most. If you don't continue to attract customers then downturn survival is impossible.

It isn't just about cutting costs... it's about spending wisely, so I'm outlining some ways small businesses can leverage the power of search engine and online marketing to weather the recession storm. Online marketing provides the most accountable way to acquire new customers. When times get tougher, you need to make sure every marketing dollar you spend counts and is providing return.

1. Organic listing (search engine results)-- getting your company into the web results of top search engines is vital for generating free traffic to your site.

2. Sponsored listing (search advertising)-- Search engine advertising involves promoting your business on the search engines in their sponsored listings area. This is the surest way to gain exposure to vital prospects in tough times. Not only is listing possible in a short time frame (your search engine ads can be live in hours), but the sponsored results are keyword specific providing rapid targeting opportunities.

3. Local search listing (bricks and mortar business listings)-- Offering businesses the opportunity to tap into the growing number of customers using search to find bricks and mortar retailers and service providers in their area.

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