It’s a tough time to be a retailer right now. It’s tough if you are selling any kind of goods or services. Everyone is being cautious and deliberate with their dollars, so what are your options right now if you have to sell?
Option 1: You could cut prices
Sure, but that’s the quickest way to devalue your brand. Your brand then becomes a commodity and you’re in a race to the bottom with your competitors. When things do turn, are you going to be able to raise your prices? Probably not.
Option 2: Business as usual
Certainly there are some business, especially those already in the discount business (Walmart) who are going to be ok. But for the rest of us, pretending the current economic conditions don’t exist isn’t a real viable strategy.
Option 3: Radio silence
Pulling back advertising and staying on the sidelines, waiting the recession out, just gives your competitors an opportunity to seize market share.
So, how do you win in the current landscape? One area that is gaining traction is content marketing. This is a perfect time to offer consumers more value, not more 2-for-1 promotions. Now there is an opportunity to inform consumers, not leave them on their own to search for answers.
Regardless of the size or type of your business, you have an opportunity to connect with your target audience in a meaningful way. Now more than ever people are seeking out expert voices to help them make informed choices. How can people extract greater utility from your product? What can they do to leverage your service for greater benefit?
Now, what I’m saying isn’t groundbreaking news to anyone who frequents Junta42 or reads Seth Godin. They’ve been preaching this for a while now. But like any practice, as more people become involved new concepts and techniques develop and evolve. I think this is an exciting time for content marketing as people from different disciplines enter this area, bringing with them skills and experiences that will help shape and reform content marketing.
One area that I would like to see develop within content marketing is creative. I think the focus of content marketing, rightly so, has been in delivering information in a “news you can use” manner. How can the more creative disciplines – art, music, creative writing – be used in service of content marketing? Perhaps Joe Pulizzi of Junta42 can point out several examples of this. I also recommend you check out Joe’s book, Get Content, Get Customers (see picture above) for more information on the content marketing revolution.