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When the going gets tough, the tough get going

September 2020Helen

This was the title of a blog I wrote 10 years ago and reading it again, it is just as relevant in 2020. Back in 2010 the UK, indeed the entire world was still recovering from the 2008 economic crash and subsequent recession. Many of the businesses FIG worked with had their own challenges to contend with, just as they do today during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected how everyone works.

During a crisis business will reactively look to cut costs to maintain good cash flow and mitigate risks. The impact on FIG of this cost cutting was huge as we saw many of the SMEs we worked with simply stop marketing support altogether. At the same time some of the corporates we worked with brought marketing support back in house to reduce costs (this is a bit of a miscalculation I might add, but then that is another blog topic altogether).

Businesses are right to review their cost base, but marketing is an investment and is crucial during a crisis to help a business survive and to continue to grow. So, in 2010 FIG launched its Marketing Partner Programme to help businesses do just that.

FIG’s Marketing Partner Programme

The principles of the Marketing Partner Programme weren’t rocket science, but it successfully combined strategic thinking with access to a full team of designers, web developers, marketers and PR professionals to deliver a suite of marketing activities. There was no magic wand, we simply worked with a business to their specific budget and worked our socks off to do the ‘right’ marketing activities at the ‘right’ time to the ‘right’ people and it delivered the results. 

Sound simple? The success of the Marketing Partner Programme is the combination of strategic thinking with consistent, targeted and ongoing marketing activities. You will be amazed how many companies don’t apply this logic. We’ve probably all wasted money on marketing activities before. Maybe you are not getting your messaging right, to cut through the noise of a busy marketplace and to make it easy for your potential clients what you can do for them. If your messaging isn’t on point, then your marketing isn’t going to be effective. If you are using tools and platforms that will not reach the appropriate audience for your business, that marketing budget is going to be wasted.

And I think we all know, that marketing activities often end up at the bottom of a very long ‘to do list’ as we’re all too busy with the day job to think about it and make it happen. True?

To be effective, marketing is a process, not an event. It has a beginning, a middle, but never an end. It has to be ingrained in the business as a proactive and integrated process, just like sales and operations. And why FIG’s Marketing Partner Programme works so successfully.

Why it works

The FIG team become ingrained in our client’s businesses, essentially becoming their outsourced marketing department. There when they need us and proactively working on their behalf to progress marketing activities. The strategic and accountable monthly or quarterly meetings look at what is working, what has changed in the business and where the focus should be going forward, to keep activities on track for the best results.

The reason FIG’s Marketing Partner Programme took off so well back in 2010, it worked. FIG delivered marketing activities on time, to budget, on an ongoing basis and got results.

Back in 2010 the launch of the Marketing Partner Programme transformed FIG’s business because it meant we had to have an experienced, multi-disciplined team in-house to be able to support all of our client’s deliverables. Over the past ten years we have built a very senior, experienced team of professionals to support a business – from writing effective content, designing, building and supporting websites, creating innovative marketing and PR campaigns, sending out regular emailshots out to customers and proactively managing social media platforms. We support our client’s media buying and advertising when required, their attendance at industry exhibitions and when they have the need for sales presentations and marketing collateral. We protect our client’s brand and reputation and design just about anything and everything they could possibly need to support their business requirements.

The benefit to our client is that all their activities are joined up and consistent. They don’t have to brief different companies in the hope they get the same approach, the FIG team understands what is going on right across your business to ensure everything is on brand, on message and appropriate for the right audience to achieve the best possible results.

When economic conditions are tough, it is effective, consistent marketing that will distinguish those companies who grow from those who do not.

So, just as in 2010 when we launched FIG’s Marketing Partner Programme to our contacts with the message, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’. Those same principles still apply today in 2020 as we are all facing challenging times.

  • Now is the time to get strategic with your marketing.

  • To look at what is working in the business and what is not.

  • To consider new markets if existing markets are closed or dwindling.

  • Now is the time to invest in good, effective marketing campaigns and consistency to make sure your message is heard by the appropriate audience and to make sure you have the tools and systems in place to engage and act upon it quickly and efficiently.

FIG’s Marketing Partner Programme has grown from strength to strength and some of the original marketing partners in 2010 still work with FIG today. Several have successfully sold their businesses to larger corporates or investors, thankful for the exposure and reputation we built that achieved those business goals.

So, if you want your business to grow in difficult times, you need to invest in the right marketing partner to help you. We would love to hear about your business. Vacancies on our Marketing Partner Programme are limited as we want to work with clients that are the right fit for us and for them, as we know that’s when it works exceptionally well.

But if this sounds just what you need right now then read about some of our marketing partners success and contact us to have a chat about your business to [email protected] in the first instance.

Say hello. We’re always happy to hear from new businesses.

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