written by Michael Nelson
For many businesses locally (and nationally) the climate being created by inflationary pressures, housing prices, Interest rates, and available labor market, is creating a large and sudden decline in their company’s revenue; a decline that could create opportunities for competitors to scoop up Market share.
WHY: As conditions move from boom to doom for many businesses, they will begin to experience the inevitable panic that these types of swings bring. They’ll be asking: Are we going to be okay? What happens if revenue does not continue to increase? Are we going to have to let anyone go?
As these questions surface, management teams will inevitably start looking for costs to cut, line items to delete, and ways to save their salaries.
This contraction of looking for ways to just simply survive rather than explore ways to continue growth through a rough business climate will almost always starts with cutting Sales and Marketing departments.
The decision to cut marketing costs and downsize sales forces will inevitably shrink the exact thing businesses need: Revenue. As revenue declines businesses are forced to take another hard look at cuts. With the low hanging fruit already gone, companies will need start to look to make harder decisions.
HOW: The opportunity for an upcoming competitor lies in the space created for them by the shrinking brand awareness and lack of lead generating activities of the company making cuts. To grow your market share you can almost move into the hole created by their absence. I say almost as there is a little extra work to do as well. To take advantage of this opportunity and ensure it is successful, we recommend you do 3 things before looking to fill the void.
1. Strengthen your brand
Moving buyers to your camp relies on having a very strong brand that resonates with them. It is not enough to say who you are, and have your company values on your website. You need to walk the walk you talk. Then focus on the marketing & sales activities that reinforce who you are as a company and what is important to you.
2. Double down on your target market
Too often people are focused on marketing to “everyone”. Become hyper focused on your target market. This will help you not only save dollars on advertising but will also help your ideal prospect self-qualify before they even get in front of you. Spend time considering as much demographic information as you can, the geographic location of your audience, and the most important psychographic information. Psychographic information is the psychological reasons your clients work with you. It is typically emotional and deals with the problems you are solving.
3. Get Creative
Lastly you need to get creative. Stepping into a Brand Awareness and Lead Generation void left by a competitor does not mean you do exactly what they did. Spend some time considering what you do better and how to give voice to that. Look for ways to be visually different. Use highly emotional content to get attention and make sure that the problem you are solving is somehow important to the viewers survival.
This is not a short-term play although it may have some immediate gain. You should be planning an overall marketing & sales strategy to garner your competitor’s market share that spans 12-18 months. As always, specific milestones and metrics should be in place and goals should be identified. Channels and campaigns should be monitored at a minimum of monthly and activities that are not producing after 90-120 days should be left behind.
As a newcomer, smaller company, or rising star, you only get so many opportunities to take large pieces of market share away from the established 20-year hometown competitor. Don’t miss this one.