There is no question that the current period of recession has changed how successful business is conducted. Those organizations that are unable or unwilling to analyze and adapt to conditions quickly have found themselves in a difficult situation.

Adapting to recession-induced changes is critical to maximizing your revenues while minimizing your expenses - especially when it comes to marketing. It is no secret that marketing isn't easy where money is tight. A business that excels at defining and identifying shifts in their target consumer market will be able to stay afloat and perhaps even thrive in poor economic conditions. The following guide will provide some tips for classifying and catering to your target customers.

  • Actively profile the people you are serving. This is an easy way to determine the make-up of your customer base and whether or not there are any changes. Really make an effort to listen and get to know the customer well. Many times they will tell you exactly how you can better meet their needs, while others will require you to use your intuition to make educated guesses. Experiment to find the most effective way to gather information in your organization.

  • Be able to adjust strategies quickly. Measures should be taken to ensure your business is as organic as possible in its ability to shift and shape to fit the market place. Frequent meetings and tweaking plans weekly to capitalize on observed trends are necessary to maximize competitiveness.

  • Use your sales figures. If you offer a multitude of products and services as many organizations tend to do, you can learn a lot from the numbers. Study them well and ask yourself questions about what they say about your customer. Is there a trend toward quality or quantity? What do the purchases of your customers say about their values?

The bottom line is that a financial crisis will certainly affect your target customer. Perhaps a business that mainly served a blue collar customer needs to adjust to capture at least some of the white collar market. The important thing for businesses is to identify shifts in the market place, predict how that could affect their target customer, and be ready to adapt in such a way that new needs are met promptly.