Marketing in Turbulent Times

By Dick Helmey
President, trucolorGRAPHICS/FASTSIGNS
HWCOC Board Member and Former Chair

And, these are turbulent times to say the least. I don’t know what the true outlook is for the future, but I do have an abiding belief that this situation will be more short term than long term. So, the issue for small business and others for that matter, is how do we navigate the near term and prepare to come out of the gates when the economy gets back on track.

Near term:

If you can, now is not the time to pull in your marketing and sales effort. In Texas, many industries are still running and need goods and services. For your business, identify those and reach out to them to let them know how you are operating and how you can help. This is when your membership and relationships you have developed in the Houston West Chamber are most valuable. Now is the time to take advantage of those resources and to connect with fellow Chamber members. Everyone is looking for ways to operate more efficiently and maintain as much of their revenue streams as possible. How can you help?

Prepare for the other side:

Yes, Virginia, this will pass and when it does you need to be ready to take advantage of it. Now is the time to refocus on creating your marketing and sales plans and to develop all of those programs you never had time to work on. This isn’t unique advice, but it will be easy to get swept up in crisis management. Be sure that a key element of your crisis management is planning for the rebound.

From a marketing perspective, I have always been a firm believer in really understanding who your target audience is. Everything flows from that. Like a bullseye target, clearly understand what businesses and consumers are in the middle for your business and be sure you focus on that. The outer ring opportunities are now a “B” project. How can you help them in the next few weeks and on the other side.

Again, you’re lucky. You belong to the best business organization in the Houston area. Don’t forget that and let’s pull together.