Thirty-five years is a long time. That's how long I've been running my company, Mid-Hudson Marketing. It's enough time to have seen all kinds of economic climates. Luckily, throughout every one, marketing has continued to provide a prosperous livelihood.
Economies rise and fall, twist and turn, but marketing is a discipline practiced by the most successful businesses. Marketing is one of those professions that relies on innovative thinking, creativity and psychological manipulation. Using such techniques, the smart marketer finds ways to circumvent obstacles like the scare tactics utilized by some of the media in an economic downturn. When the masses are convinced that the end is near, the clever marketer grasps that as an opportunity to provide exactly what is needed: a way to restore life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
One way to do this is to ignore the media storm of negativity and stand firm in your commitment to the product or service you provide. While you may have seen a drop in demand for whatever it is you sell, you know that you still supply something which is needed, whether your market prefers to buy it right now or not. The trick is to present its availability in a fresh, new way, catching the intimidated markets off guard. Here is where creativity and innovation come into play. Some may call it guerrilla marketing, but I like to think of it as a new level of appeal. If they want it badly enough (translate: if you make it desirable enough), they will buy it!
One of my clients called me the other day 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 du jour but with one big caveat. He said you must 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 the ubiquitous Google dominance over Internet commerce. Having followed Google's prescriptions for success, my client's website comes up at the top of multiple search results, giving him an edge over worldwide competition he never dreamed possible.
Ah, yes. We live in an age where a one-man business can compete on equal footing with an international behemoth if one's marketing is truly inspired. Is it possible to be a part of today's global business culture and yet remain objective enough to stand back and see the forest for the trees? Can a marketer harness the wisdom of his experience by devising new strategies for recognition in uncharted waters?
One need only look to 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 forget so many others, such as Apple's Steve Jobs and Steven Wozniak; Microsoft's Bill Gates and Paul Allen; Amazon's Jeff Bezos; or eBay's Pierre Omidyar. All of these people had a vision to create entities to fulfill a need in an emerging culture. In fact, some might say they created, rather than fulfilled, the need within the culture through brilliant marketing and astounding business acumen. While all of these businesses continue to evolve as the times change, how can we as members of this society not respect the audacity of their successes?
Remarkably, they each navigated uncharted waters and discovered new horizons of technological excellence in the process. Again, I ask, can the lowly business owner take inspiration from such geniuses to elevate one's own commerce to a level of continued prosperity despite economic uncertainty? I say anything is possible because we are perpetually in a state of economic uncertainty, whether it is 1975, 1995 or 2015. All it takes is the belief that there are no limits to your own creativity and that trust in oneself is the most powerful force in accomplishing the impossible. "To thine own self be true..." - Shakespeare, Hamlet