Published on www.eonetwork.org and written by Nick Nichols.
The global financial crisis may have many business owners running scared but, according to marketing dynamo Mellissah Smith, it could cost them dearly.
An EO Melbourne member and the Founder and Chief Executive of Marketing Eye, Smith said defensive strategies in these troubled times were gifting valuable customers to more aggressive competitors.
“I think the current global downturn creates opportunities for lateral-thinking business owners.”
Smith agreed businesses needed to trim the fat from expenses.
“Cutbacks in this environment are inevitable, and marketing staff are always on the firing line.”
But she warned that ill-conceived cutbacks could prove costly in the long term.
“We need to be a bit smarter about what we do.”
Rather than have cutbacks, Smith added companies needed to "revisit their marketing strategies."
“The strategies they had last year are not going to work over the next 12 months, and companies that fail to do this will find there is a large shortfall in outcomes.”
In 2004, Smith established Marketing Eye, a comprehensive consultancy targeting small and medium enterprises. As Ms Smith’s expertise is rooted in the technology field, it is little wonder she advocates the Web as one of the most effective tools available to businesses.
“Everyone is going Web,” she said. "The focus now is on using Web sites as a marketing tool to drive leads, to brand the company and to show online testimonials.”
She said businesses using the same Web page they designed 10 years ago had fallen off the radar in search engines and this was a key factor in the failure of those websites to gain traction.
“It doesn’t matter what size of business you are, you can still be number one over your larger counterparts.”
Ms. Smith added that a sharp rise in turnover at Marketing Eye in recent months was a clear sign of the growing need for marketing services in the current environment.
“Our Sydney and Melbourne offices in the last three months have doubled our turnover,” she said.
One of the key drivers of that growth is a rising trend by businesses to outsource their marketing services. Smith said outsourcing marketing services would become more commonplace in the tightening economic environment.
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