According to the American Marketing Association, “marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.
Translated, that means marketing is getting someone to part with their money to buy a product and/or service.
That sounds easy enough except that the person making the purchase has to be confident the money they spend today won’t be needed for basic necessities tomorrow . This is especially true for big ticket items that are paid in installments. No matter how enticing the marketing campaign, consumers will not spend money if they are worried about losing their job.
In my last column, “First Quarter Cruising,” I wrote that we are seeing a recovery. (After the last few years, any improvement had to head north.) What kind of recovery is it? The March unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a percent to 8.2 percent. Since it went down from February’s 8.3 percent, it sounds great to some people. Unfortunately, the reason for the drop is that the number of people who stopped looking for work is at an all time high of 87,897,000.
That’s a lot of people who no longer have the purchasing power to buy goods and services – your goods and services. The bottom line (pun intended) is that we are seeing a jobless recovery.
Even if someone’s job is secure – as secure as a job can be these days – they are likely to know someone who has been out of work a long time and has finally given up looking. A recent Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that the number of Americans who know someone who’s given up looking for a job out of frustration with the current market is up to 48 percent.
Consumer spending, which is 70 percent of our economy, drives our prosperity. Moreover, it’s your small business that’s in the driver’s seat. Since the early 1990s, small businesses have produced the bulk of net new jobs in the United States, accounting for almost half of the salaries paid in the private sector. Yet, you’re not going to hire without sales to justify the additional staffing … and you’re not going to get those sales if you don’t market your product or service.
Odds are your small business has a limited marketing budget. That’s why it’s imperative to read the Marketing Maven columns. I’ll see you in two weeks with a marketing idea that won’t cost you a penny!
File photo of The Marketing Maven, Robin Itzler.
- The Marketing Maven: First quarter cruising (oc-breeze.com)
- The Marketing Maven: Marketing in a down economy (oc-breeze.com)
- The Marketing Maven: Taking your business to the top floor (oc-breeze.com)
- The Marketing Maven: “Here’s my business card,” part two (oc-breeze.com)
- Marketing Maven: Value in a license (oc-breeze.com)