How marketing is changing – a challenging economy leads to new strategies

Thirty-five years is a long time. That’s how long I’ve been running my business, Mid-Hudson Marketing. It is enough time to have seen all kinds of economic climates. Fortunately, marketing has continued to provide a prosperous existence in all those instances.

Economies rise and fall, twist and turn, but marketing is a discipline practiced by the most successful companies. Marketing is one of those professions that relies on innovative thinking, creativity and psychological manipulation. Using such techniques, the savvy marketer finds ways around obstacles, such as the scare tactics some media outlets use in an economic downturn. When the masses are convinced that the end is near, the savvy marketer seizes it as an opportunity to provide exactly what is needed: a way to restore life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

One way to do this is to ignore the media frenzy of negativity and remain steadfast in your commitment to the product or service you provide. While you may have seen a drop in demand for whatever you’re selling, you know you’re still supplying something that’s needed, whether your market prefers to buy it or not. The trick is to present its availability in a fresh new way and catch the intimidated markets off guard. This is where creativity and innovation come into play. Some might call it guerrilla marketing, but I like to think of it as a new level of appeal. If they want it bad enough (translate: if you make it desirable enough), they’ll buy it!

One of my clients recently called me to tell me that marketing has changed. As a result of his annual dental marketing seminar, he now knows that social marketing is the new business marketing technique of the day but with a big one caveat. He said you need to address your vulnerability to competitors posting negative comments about you, the results over which you will have no control.

Yet another of my clients is enjoying the rewards of Google’s pervasive dominance over Internet commerce. After following Google’s recipes for success, my client’s website comes out on top in multiple search results, giving them an edge over global competition that they never thought possible.

Oh yeah. We live in a time where a sole trader can compete on an equal footing with an international behemoth, provided the marketing is truly inspired. Is it possible to be part of today’s global corporate culture and still remain objective enough to step back and see the wood for the trees? Can a marketer leverage the wisdom of his experience to devise new strategies for recognition in uncharted waters?

You only have to look at the success of such incredible entrepreneurs as Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google; Evan Williams and Biz Stone, co-founders of Twitter; or, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who created YouTube; not to mention so many others like Applefrom Steve Jobs and Steven Wozniak; Microsoftfrom Bill Gates and Paul Allen; Amazonis Jeff Bezos; or eBay.comby Pierre Omidyar. All of these people had a vision to create entities to fill a need in an emerging culture. Some might even say they created the need within the culture rather than fulfilling it through brilliant marketing and amazing business acumen. While all these companies continue to evolve as times change, how can we as members of this society not respect the boldness of their successes?

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Remarkably, they all navigated uncharted waters, discovering new horizons of technological excellence in the process. Again, I ask, can the simple entrepreneur draw inspiration from such geniuses to elevate his own trade to a level of lasting prosperity in the face of economic uncertainty? I say anything is possible because we are in a constant state of economic uncertainty whether it is 1975, 1995 or 2015. All that is needed is the belief that there are no limits to your own creativity and that confidence in yourself is the strongest force. in achieving the impossible. “Be true to yourself…” – Shakespeare, Hamlet