Opportunities, Landmines and Fallout when the Economy Shrinks by 30%

Here's what we are seeing from our vantage point serving clients at Camares. One thing is for sure: weird times demand, weirdly creative approaches :) You may be experiencing the same things or not — do comment! Our collective knowledge is power! Here're my observations in random order…

  1. Boom or bust and very little in between! You may be out there pushing hard, pounding the email and the phone and…crickets. Things are wildly uneven right now. Some businesses are going gangbusters: I know a landscaper who's overwhelmed with work transforming people's homes into staycation hotel properties. But many business owners are wondering if now is not the time to hang up their spurs. This is a terrifying moment. Deep inside terrifying moments are seeds of opportunity. Listen to those crickets and consider a business transformation. I started Camares with the fax machine and survived a dozen white-knuckle terrifying busts — though we are still true to our core, Camares is a very different company today. Not one, but multiple transformations are the reasons why. Sure it's exhausting, have you seen how grey I am? But if I can do it…
  2. Clients gone mad! I've heard it from others, I've seen it myself, hell, I've had a client-gone-mad moment in the last few months myself! One thing we'd like to think we can count on from our colleagues is professionalism — but this is a truly crazy time. Stress levels are at all time highs across our entire lives. Things that were once mild annoyances are sending folks off the rails. Meltdowns seem to erupt from nowhere. So, let's cut each other some slack. Suggest a pause. Revisit the topic the next day. We're all in this together!
  3. Google Search Ad prices have dropped — with no one bidding or advertising it is an amazing time to advertise on Google. I haven't seen cost per clicks so low since the dawn of the search engine (which was a couple of decades after the dawn of the fax machine :)
  4. Advertising when no one is buying — well sure, that seems a stupid, but prospects are still active, if not buying, they are considering what they might want to buy when our world settles down. If ad buys are cheap and you have the budget, consider it a divine branding opportunity.
  5. Linkedin remains a cess pool of irrelevance, only now its a sewer break — OK I've never been a fan. And, yes there are some exceptions where Linkedin user groups are vibrant and relevant, so I'm not a total naysayer. But before Covid, Linkedin was hyper promotional — now with so many panicked and out of work — its a super spreader event. Wear a mask, or better yet, quarantine yourself from it. (And yes, yes, I see the irony that I'm posting this on Linkedin, LOL, but you'll find even more interesting stuff on my blog.)
  6. If not Linkedin what can you do to connect? How about old fashioned one-to-one E-Mail? Especially if you're selling B-to-B, there has never been a more meaningful time to reach out directly, with a personal and relevant message from you to a colleague. Connect, who knows what might emerge!
  7. Ring Ring Ring! If you're sick and tired ofZoom (aren't we all?) and we can no longer meet over coffee, breakfast or lunch, just pick up the damned phone and spontaneously call a colleague. Yesterday I spent 20 very enjoyable minutes connecting with an old colleague. It was good — no make that great! We uncovered some mutually beneficial opportunities. Groovy!

So, what's happening in your business life? Comment, email or call me I would LOVE to hear from you!

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Survive the Recession! What To Do Now!

Enough with the good news already! OK, here's a little more… Yup, we're in it. A recession is here. We're likely to see an uptick when we're all released from lockdown, then a longer downturn. So I reached back into the Harvard Business Review archive and found this excellent article from 2009 — and though past recessions are no template for this bad boy, human nature remains unchanged.

Here's the take away:

  • Indiscriminate cost cutting on the part of businesses is a mistake.
  • Do contain costs, and then take the time to examine your core customers' changing needs for longterm success.
  • Embrace recession psychology! There are four categories of customers — and this, in my experience, goes for B-to-B as well: Slam-on-the-Brakes, Pained-but-Patient, Comfortably Well-off and Live-for-today. Understanding their approaches to purchasing will inform your business decisions.
  • Categorize your products/services in this way:
    • Essentials are necessary for survival or perceived as central to well-being.
    • Treats are indulgences whose immediate purchase is considered justifiable.
    • Postponables are needed or desired items whose purchase can be reasonably put off.
    • Expendables are perceived as unnecessary or unjustifiable.

Triage and/or reconfigure your products or services to focus on Essentials or Treats — Postponable and Expendable options will see sales drop or longer sales cycles, but they too can be sold, though you will need to change your approach.

This reconfiguration can be deftly done while maintaining your brand promise.We can show you how.

Let's talk.

Best,

Deb 

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Pessimist or Genius? How Proving Worst Case Scenarios Wins!

Even More Good News — because we sure need it these days :). Ask my colleagues and they'll confirm it: I have a very low optimism quotient. Some say that makes me a realist, others just think I'm depressing. I scan the horizon for worst case scenarios. It's force of habit, and highly unusual for a marketers who are known to burble with optimism. But that burbling leads to blindspots and those will kill you!

Over the decades my worst-case horizon scanning has resulted in many, many, ways to thread the needle and succeed through tough times for my clients.

I consider it an asset — and many of our clients do too! It is also a relief: if Camares is proving out worst-case market scenarios I've got a good set of jaundiced eyes on the problem!

Now here's the good news, here's what our worst-case horizon scanning has found:

  • Market soft spots worth exploitation.
  • Alternative revenue streams that resonate in recessions and can be swiftly rolled out and aligned with a company's brand.
  • Adding services to a manufacturer, adding manufacturing to services company and developing strategic partnerships to accomplish it.
  • Ways to streamline and automate sales and marketing workflows to reduce costs and surface leads experiencing buying inflection points.

Want to get to a happy place by discussing the worst case?

Call me — we'll get you there.

All the best :)

Deb 

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Super Strategy to Thrive! How to Grab Market Share in a Recession

More Good News: Grab marketshare in a recession. Among the companies that thrived during the Great Recession according to Investopedia were, — no surprise — Dollar Tree and Walmart. People buy less or substitute cheaper items — and that goes for businesses too.

But how to deal with this if you're NOT a discount brand and never wanted to play that game?

Whether you sell products or services B-to-B, here's a strategy worth considering:

Maintain your current service or product line up AND launch an economy line right now.

I am reminded of the "Magic Mop" sold on TV in the 80's. The manufacturer pushed out that mop relentlessly in TV ads. Hugely successful, the very same company just a few weeks later launched a cheaper version of the product under a different name, under cutting itself and winning more business from those that aspired to purchase the first but could not afford it.

Brilliant!

You can do something similar with no need to launch a second brand.Develop an "Express" service line that moves prep work onto the client's desk and reserves the greatest value of what you deliver in a contained time box. Enabling you to a. sign on new clients you will grow overtime and b. maintain your brand's value.

Let's grab this moment to grab marketshare!

Call me for strategies on how you can do it for your company.

Best,

Deb 

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Good News: Google CPC is Dropping! It's a Branding Bonanza!

 Good News! You could use some, right? Here it is:

We are seeing Google cost per click drop by more than 50% from January. On Google Display we are actually seeing clicks in the PENNY single digits. That means that right now, promoting your brand via Google is like shopping at department store fire sale. Get twice as much exposure for every penny spent.

Layer on the 13% increase traffic website traffic according to Hubspot as people come online from home and you've got yourself a branding bonanza!

Just don't expect it to lead to immediate sales, online sales and won deals have dropped by 27% says the same article.

That's the reality. Embracing it is the solution:

There has never been a more cost effective time to promote your brand. Powering through now will lead to a far stronger position on the other side.

Let's grab this moment to take the high ground!

Call me for strategies on how you can do it for your company.

Best,

Deb

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