Tom Garrity

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Recession Communication Keys: Be Transparent and Use the right tools

In Uncategorized on June 16, 2010 at 2:00 am

How can you effectively communicate during difficult economic times?  The same way you communicate during the boom periods.  Your communication should be relevant, genuine and transparent.  What does this mean?  This is the second of two installments (as seen in the Associated General Contractors New Mexico Building Branch Quarterly Newsletter http://www.agc-nm.org/):

Be Transparent

Your target audiences are very self-centered.  They want to know what you are going to do to help them.  The construction industry has seen a lot of recession-based transformation.  One of the most obvious is the influx of builders and specialists who know residential but are oblivious to commercial code requirements.

While it would feel good to share your views about the cross-over opportunists with the purchasing director, it probably won’t be a move that will pay off in the long run.    Your best way to combat the new competition is by defining the issue of items in terms and deliverables that are unique to commercial construction.

List the items that set your qualifications apart from the competition; address bonding and other items unique to your industry; be a resource through a brochure, website or on the telephone to address nuances about the commercial construction trade.  This kind of transparency, by ghosting the issue, will help to position you as a trusted partner.

The Tools

Social media is the new “it” marketing tool.  It seems as if everyone is getting on Twitter, FaceBook and YouTube (the Big Three).  While those marketing tools have relevance to some markets, some elements of social media can be beneficial to every market.

Retail and services organizations are the entities that have effectively leveraged social media outlets.  For brick/mortar and construction industries, a tool like YouTube or Flicker can help you show off construction techniques or client projects.  A LinkedIn account or Facebook fan page is a good way to generate top of mind awareness about what your business does by informing other people in the professional and non-professional world.

The key of connection is to always draw your target audience your website or to have them connect with you in some form.  Social media, like broadcast media, is a means to an end of making a connection… not just an end of saying we’ve done it, now onto the next task.

Today’s technology provides many unique ways to be relevant, genuine and transparent.  Leveraging the technology with those three keys will help you to remain connected with your target audiences regardless of the market’s economic conditions.

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Recessionary Communication Keys: Be Genuine & Relevant

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2010 at 2:00 am

The bottom line has a new meaning in the midst of this recession.  For some organizations, when times are tight the first thing owners do is pull back on marketing communication efforts.   If you think about it, scaling back on awareness is akin to a NASCAR team opting for cheaper tires… short term benefit, long term loss.

How can you effectively communicate during difficult economic times?  The same way you communicate during the boom periods.  Your communication should be relevant, genuine and transparent.  What does this mean?  This is the first of two installments (as seen in the Associated General Contractors New Mexico Building Branch Quarterly Newsletter http://www.agc-nm.org):

Be Relevant

Like yours, my mailbox fills up with funding requests from what seems to be a “who’s who” list of nonprofit charities.   And like you, I’ve personally and corporately made donations and contributions to various organizations.

Those charities were selected because they have been successful in making a personal connection with me.  That “first contact” was not in the form of a letter or mass mailing.  It was in the form of a conversation, a site tour or recommendation from a friend.

During these difficult economic times, Nonprofits would be well served to check their approaches to see if it is providing the needed connection with their target audiences.  Also, check your databases for accuracy.  I’ve been included on prep school and university mailing lists who claim I am an alumnus from their “distinguished” institution.

If your organization believes in making a personal connection, then you will be one step closer to success.  Being relevant means you need to know your audience” 12 months out of the year instead of trying to be impersonal and connect only when it is convenient for you.

Be Genuine

Sharing your message is all about how you communicate with your target audience (i.e. customers).  In the past, communicating with the larger public was largely relegated to the news media.   Today, there are a multitude of options available (e-newsletters, facebook, twitter, YouTube) when communicating with a broader spectrum of people.

Sharing your message is a personal conversation and connection with your target audience.

The new media provides effective ways to engage your customers.  Websites, blogs, wiki’s, and social media are all different ways to connect, unfiltered, to your audience.   Direct mail, personal letters, magazines, newsletters are some good standbys to reinforce your brand beyond the computer screen.  These tools are an effective complement to reaching your objectives through traditional media and tactics.

Think of your communication tools as golf clubs.  They each provide a specific purpose to move your message/brand forward.  You wouldn’t use a putter in the tee box or a driver on the putting green.  Knowing your audience and your objectives will help you to identify the right tools to share your message effectively.  The result will be a genuine message that is received and not ignored by your existing and future customers.