February 6th, 2009

Marketing in today's economy

by sage island

With the current state of the US economy, many businesses are scrambling to make ends meet and are finding any available expenses that can be cut. In many cases marketing budgets are the first thing to go. However, several companies have found new and innovative ways to reach their customers and drive sales.

Hyundai is a great example of a company speaking the words their customers want to hear. Last fall they started testing an idea that was revolutionary in the automotive industry – a return policy. This concept is foreign to car buyers and dealers alike, but what Hyundai realized was that people are not hesitant to buy cars (if they are priced right), they are scared of losing their jobs and being stuck with a car payment. Their return policy states that if you lose your job within one year of purchasing your car, they will cover the difference in the value of the car and the amount the buyer owes. This policy extends to disability, loss of driver’s license, foreign job transfers, bankruptcy and death. This is only one innovative example of how Hyundai has grown to the world’s fifth largest automaker and has 7% of the US market share. Not bad when you take a look at the current state of the US auto industry.

We are all familiar with online advertisements on our favorite websites, but what if those ads were targeted directly at us and based on our search habits? Most of those typical, generic ads are just that — typical and generic and not driving revenue for marketers. Enter personalized ads. Overstock.com is testing a new personalized advertising concept that displays ads based on what their site visitors are viewing, and if these ads aren’t getting clicks, they change when you change what you are viewing. This new technique garnered seven times as many clicks on their ads and a threefold increase in sales for Overstock.com

So in a time when business owners are selling their homes just to keep their businesses afloat, some companies are revolutionizing the way they reach their customers and are seeing revolutionary success to match. All it takes is a little creativity!