Long-term retail development success depends far more on continuity of marketing efforts than it does on waiting for economic conditions to improve. A historical perspective shows that economic declines are temporary and while it is difficult to predict the timing of recovery it is usually just around the corner.
Community leaders often decide to wait “until times are better” to continue or to initiate a retail development initiative. But waiting on the sidelines means you are less likely to benefit fully when economic conditions improve.
Don’t let your emotions sway you. It is difficult to keep an optimistic view while the prognosticators and new channels deliver a constant barrage of bad economic news. It is easy to lose sight of the resiliency of the economy and the fact that successful retail development programs are grounded on an optimistic premise. The economic potential of a community is never achieved in a negative environment.
As difficult as today’s economic conditions maybe there is one thing that community leaders can control: how aggressively they market their community. Successful communities tend to follow several time-tested marketing principles which help them achieve their retail goals.
First, they follow a consistent marketing strategy. A significant part of retail development is network marketing. The development and nurturing of a network literately takes place over years. Those are rewarded who have the fortitude to remain invested through a crisis; while those that make decisions not to remain invested because of short-term instability will pay the price.
Second, they look beyond the rear-view mirror and make long-term plans. Maintaining a long-term perspective is never more important than during times of uncertainty. A distant time horizon helps resist the temptation to cut programs and supports staying the course.
Last, they review and adjust your performance regularly. As economic conditions improve, retail opportunities that were out of favor a few months before may become in favor. Agile communities continuously adjust their marketing programs to take advantage of opportunities.
A consistent marketing strategy means that aggressive marketing efforts are sustained even through the inevitable economic downturns-putting the community in a better position to ultimately achieve their retail goals.