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ARE YOU LOOKING AT A MARKETING FREE FALL?

February 8, 2013

If you have seen the Oscar nominated film “Flight,” you certainly know how scary a “free fall” can be. But you don’t have to step into a movie theater to see how changing markets can create dramatic free falls. Just look at Research in Motion’s BlackBerry.

Three years ago, some 2,500 employees at Land O’ Lakes Inc. used company-issued BlackBerrys. Today, it is down to 12. In 2007 corporate customers made up 71% of BlackBerry’s business. Now it’s down to 20%-25%, estimates Kris Thompson, an analyst at National Bank of Canada. Some people are still optimistic that the company’s two new phones—the first BlackBerrys in about 18 months—will help turn around nearly two years of delayed products, network outages, and falling sales. Don’t count on it.

So now here’s the question for your small business. Look at your core customer base six years ago (2007). Has it changed dramatically, and if so, what are you doing about it? Playing catch up doesn’t work real well in a Super Bowl and it doesn’t work well in marketing either.

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