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What’s Your Stimulus Marketing Plan?

by Trish Bertuzzi on Tue, Mar 24, 2009

This guest post is from Nancy Langmeyer, Principal of The Write Words, a business and marketing communications freelance writing consultancy. You can email Nancy here.

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The definition of ‘stimulus' according to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:  

Something that rouses or incites to activity: as a: incentive b: stimulant 1 c: an agent (as an environmental change) that directly influences the activity of a living organism or one of its parts (as by exciting a sensory organ or evoking muscular contraction or glandular secretion).

As we all adjust to current realities, we are searching for new ways to do business. 

This is particularly evident in marketing organizations, who are reinventing themselves once again. After all, they have smaller, often skeletal staffs, a fraction of the budgets they used to have, and what they did before just doesn't work any more.

It's time for the Stimulus Marketing Plan!  

What, you might ask, is this? Well, if you review the definition of "stimulus" above, you'll see that it means to "incite activity," which is what, by the nature of their function, marketing folks do anyway. They incite prospects to consider buying.

So how can marketers incite prospects to respond in this economy? The answer is to create new messages that pretty much align with the nation's recovery plan. I'm sure you're starting to see some of these filter through already....

  • The "Do More with Less" message.
    Your prospects are now looking for ways to recover some of their losses - such as market share and profitability. They want to continue to do what they did before, only better and more effectively. If you can offer a service that helps your prospects function more efficiently - with promises of such things as increasing online traffic with minimal investment or reducing IT overhead - exploit these messages now.
  • Green it up.
    Take the time now to show how you can help a prospect be more environmentally friendly. Whether it's cutting down on energy, saving materials, reducing waste, or improving air quality, add a green perspective to your story. There are typically cost savings benefits that go along with this story too, something that everyone wants to hear right now. Also, telling the story about how your own company is working to become more sustainable will appeal to the growing number of planet-friendly consumers.
  • The proof is in the details.
    Buyers are demanding more and more evidence that investing in your solution is worthwhile. So tell the story any way you can. Case studies used to be a pivotal element here, but now people are doing "industry profiles" because the quotable person who raved about how much his company saved with your product is no longer in that position. An industry profile can provide a credible story, with facts and statistics on benefits such as improved ROI, decreased cost of sales, and improved customer service that will make up for not having the awesome testimonial.

Know that the prospects that needed your services before still need them now. People are still buying, but they are buying differently.

So tell a different story, with different messages, and you'll find once again that you can stimulate prospects into becoming buyers.

Topics: target marketing, ask the experts

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