Lookout 2019

I went back and read the last three blogs I’ve written in January. I should almost apologize to those of you that read them that I was a bit redundant – we’re a digital ad agency in Phoenix, it’s the start of a new year… growth, growth, growth. To my defense, it was quite easy for me to be enthusiastic as the company was really progressing and our list of clients has now grown to include some impressive regional accounts that now have us doing business in seven different states.

Pardon me as we go into 2019 with a different tone.

Don’t get me wrong … 2018 was a phenomenal year for our clients, ReThinc continues to grow and we are always getting better at what we do as our industry requires. We are optimistic for continued success that comes with deft execution, solid communication, and doing business with a high degree of ethics.

We have the same core team in place. They are smart, talented, and hard-working.

My message for 2019 is excellence through preparedness. One of the many critical skill sets we must have as marketers is to anticipate trends, see around corners … know what’s going to happen next. That helps us not only with the types of platforms we choose to place your message but more also the message itself.

Everything I’m reading tells me the economy is heading towards a more moderate level of growth. There is no need to panic, we just need to be ready for it. Additionally, a more normal economic pattern also tends to ‘thin the herd’ meaning businesses that don’t operate responsibly tend to struggle and subsequently close. Again, not a bad thing … especially in our industry (ad agencies) where bad players can get by due to the vast amounts of business to be had.

Here are few marketing tips for businesses that are adjusting to a slightly slower economy:

1. Do a deep dive on your competition to make sure you’re not only properly priced but also that you are beating others with product quality and better customer service.

2. Devise incentives (internal and external) that will ensure customer acquisition AND retention.

3. Create operational efficiencies. Eliminate or curtail products or services that don’t enhance customer acquisition or employee productivity.

4. Solidify your relationship with your customer base. Yes, incentivize but also reinforce value, communicate, and be sure to express appreciation to your clients.

5. Create outreach efficiencies. Look to drive greater relevance in your outreach expenditures. Adjust your tactics and your budgets to be more directly targeted to your primary demo.

6. Devise enhancements that make your product more desirable and less likely to fall into an ‘expendable’ category for consumers.

7. Explore the viability of a mutually beneficial co-branded relationship. When done properly it can be hugely beneficial regardless where the economy is headed.

8. Evaluate your marketing assets now and make any necessary improvements. Does your website provide a good customer journey? Is your print collateral on point? Do your rich media ads need to have a more aggressive call to action?

9. Create financial benchmarks with well thought out and appropriate actionable steps to take if you happen to miss one. Don’t panic but don’t get caught flat footed either. As a business owner, your books tell the story, just be sure you are reading it.

10. Hire an ad agency. Yes… this is self-serving advice, but a good ad agency can help you with every step I’ve listed above.

I’m not looking to be Chicken Little here. A slower economy doesn’t translate to economic ruin. It just means you need to prepare yourself, your employees and even your customers in a way that ensures your continued success.

2019 is going to be another great year, we all just need to be ready for it.

If have any questions or need any level of assistance getting ready for 2019, call me at 602.284.6722 or email me at ed.olsen@rethincadvertising.com.