My manifesto for Lancashire

Richard SlaterI’ve been doing the rounds of the networking and speaking circuit recently and I’ve taken the opportunity to talk to audiences about how we, as businesses in Lancashire, can take advantage of an improving market.

It boils down to this – we have fantastic businesses doing fantastic things in Lancashire, and we need to shout more loudly about it.

Frankly, this is no time to be shy.

So here’s my manifesto for marketing our way through the dog-end of this tiresome recession:

• We must be proud of what we make, do and sell in Lancashire, and not shy to say so.

• We need to trade more with each other to keep our local economy vibrant. We have talent, endeavour and creativity here – let’s use it. Let’s work with each other more. Let’s stop giving jobs to London and Manchester. Keep it here.

• If you don’t tell; you can’t sell. So get marketing.

• There’s loads of businesses out there that don’t do marketing and PR – and you’ve never heard of any of them.

• In the early 70s recession – those who did not cut marketing more than trebled net income by 1977. Those who did cut barely achieve a doubling.

• In the early 90s recession – Nike kept faith with marketing and emerged from the downturn with an increased market share, ahead of rivals Reebok and Adidas. They are still number one in their market.

• Cutting your marketing budget to help in tough times is like removing your heart to stop a cut bleeding. You still need to pump the blood; you still need to talk to customers.

We’ve put our money and our efforts where our mouth is too – significant web developments; re-branding; marketing activities brought forward; adoption of social marketing; additional efforts on client retention, up-selling and cross-selling activities; new client identification and targeting.

And it’s working. For us and for our clients.

Richard Slater, managing director, Slater PR.