Most organizations are facing new realities in today’s economic environment. Consumer behavior has changed dramatically, and virtually the entire population has reconsidered its spending habits.

We’ve seen a return to the basics where people are being judicious about spending. They’re buying only if they perceive a real value with minimal risk. It’s important as marketers to show empathy to customers by listening to them and acting on what they’re saying and feeling.

To help your company survive these tides, keep these “dos” and “don’ts” of marketing building products to today’s cautious consumers in mind:

The DOs

  • DO market your company’s products and services. MaryEllen Tribby, publisher and CEO of Agora Financial’s Early to Rise newsletter, said, “You don’t have to spend a lot of money to ensure that your marketing message is heard loud and clear.”
  • DO put customers first. Provide target markets with value and demonstrate how you care for their needs. Learn what motivates them and tailor your messages accordingly.
  • DO send out an e-newsletter. All businesses should be aggregating e-mail addresses of every customer or potential prospect. Retaining your existing customers and getting repeat business from them should be one of your highest priorities.
  • DO focus on direct marketing where you can clearly measure your ROI.
  • DO embark upon social media campaigns. They’re inexpensive and let you know what people are saying about the industry and your brand.
  • DO consider online pay-per-click search strategies. This is a low-cost way to advertise online where you can set a monthly budget cap to avoid over-spending.

 The DON’Ts

  • DON’T over constrict. In this environment, companies should be flexible and learn to adapt to new situations as they arise.
  • DON’T ignore existing customers. Arun Agrawal, Internet Marketing Specialist, states that, “new customer acquisition is considered almost seven times more expensive than retaining your current customer.”
  • DON’T think of marketing as a cost. Think of it as an investment.
  • DON’T rely solely on your own ideas. The market will tell you what people want to buy.
  • DON’T concentrate solely on price in your marketing materials. Instead, focus on value as consumers are more prone to pay attention to these messages.
  • DON’T overspend. Partner with an integrated marketing firm that will give you more bang for your buck.

With a shifting marketplace, it is important to remember that your customers are maintaining their desire for new products, but are now much more cautious about spending. K&A suggests following the recommended guidelines and engaging in a marketing program that fits your needs. The bottom line will be to put your marketing dollars where you can observe growth and earn the best return on your investment.

For more information on the dos and don’ts of marketing building materials to today’s cautious customer, contact Steve at or via twitter @stevekleber.