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PART 1: What Every Business Needs To Know About Marketing In Today's Economy

As a preview to her presentation at the Chamber's Small Business Council
Lunch In The Know, Lori Turner-Wilson explains why maintaining consistent marketing in up and down times is essential. Then, join us August 13 for lunch when she gives tips on how to prioritize your time and money to generate the best return on your marketing investment in this "new normal" that is today's economy.

A recent national study of small business owners across the country outlined the three top challenges they say they are facing in 2013. Results of the study show that 80% are struggling to attract new customers, 52% are having trouble getting current customers to refer, and 41% would like to see their marketing dollars go further.

It's interesting that the top three challenges for small businesses are all about marketing. 
Business owners and marketers are so often faced with the dilemma of having to cut advertising in times of economic softness. But here is some real data that you can use to illustrate why that is a bad idea.
The early 80s recession served up a hard hit to U.S. businesses. Much like our most recent recession, unemployment rates were up over 10% and GDP declined significantly. A McGraw Hill study of over 600 businesses was conducted of this early 80s recession – specifically looking at marketing expenditures and their result on revenue growth post recession.
What it uncovered is that businesses that invested the same or more in their marketing from 1981 to 1982, saw a 256% increase in revenue by 1985 compared to those who decreased spending. Why? Because competitors weren't marketing! In fact, marketing in good times is less likely to gain you market share, though it's necessary to maintain what you have.
Given that maintaining a steady, strong marketing budget is savvy regardless of the state of the economy, we still want to spend wisely. So what’s the best use of that increased investment?

-- Lori Turner-Wilson, CEO and Founder of Red Rover Company
Click here to register today for our August 13th "Lunch in the Know" titled "What Every Business Needs To Know About Marketing In Today's Economy" to learn how to prioritize your time and money to generate the best return on your marketing investment in this "new normal" that is today's economy.

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Your business may be small, but that doesn't mean that your impact can't be huge! The Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council serves to encourage, support, recognize and be a resource to small- and medium-sized businesses in the Memphis area. Here, our talented panel of contributors will present big ideas that could make a huge difference to your small business. And don't be afraid to ask questions ... no matter how small.

Sales & Small Business Ownership
Voss W. Graham is CEO and Senior Business Advisor for InnerActive Consulting Group Inc. He is known by his clients as "a knowledgeable partner who helps our team achieve business growth." He provides practical experience as a small business owner for over 29 years, yet is often engaged with Fortune 500 companies in the development of their people and business strategies.

Public Relations
Several professionals and strategists from the local Obsidian Public Relations firm provide excellent advice on everything from research to media relations to event planning. They believe that all companies, no matter how big or small the company or its budget, should have a public relations plan driving how they manage their relationships with key stakeholders. Public relations is an integral part of doing business the right way.

Human Resources
Joel Myers is a career Human Resources professional, with over 40 years in the field including 26 years in consulting.

Small Business Advice
Tom Pease is a small business owner of an office equipment dealership called e/Doc Systems, Inc. He has also owned a full-line Kawasaki dealership as well as a document shop. He used 30+ years of experience in owning a business to author two books, including: Going Out of Business by Design: Why 70% of Small Businesses Fail and Small Business Survival 101. He also has published 85 columns in The Memphis Daily News as the Small Business Advisor.

Marketing & Public Relations
Lori Turner-Wilson is CEO and Founder of RedRover Company, a sales development, marketing and PR consulting firm. Lori works with companies large and small, from start-ups to mature organizations, to help them improve the productivity of their sales force and the return on their marketing investment. Lori writes a weekly syndicated column for the Daily News, Memphis News, Nashville Ledger, and Desoto Times, among others, titled “Guerrilla Sales & Marketing,” for which she won a 2011 Summit International Award and 2012 International Communicator Award.

Design and Digital Strategy
Founded in 1999, inferno provides brand development, advertising, public relations, design and digital marketing services to clients across a broad spectrum of industries. Headquartered in Memphis with a satellite office in Kalamazoo, Michigan, the award-winning firm produces results-driven work by passionately combining strategic thinking, creativity and culture to ensure the success of its clients. For more information, visit

Labor & Employment Law
Fisher Phillips attorneys are ready to help you take a stand: in court, with employees and unions, or with competitors. Fisher Phillips has the experience and resolve to back you up. That's why some of the savviest employers come to the firm to handle their toughest labor and employment cases. The firm has 350 attorneys in 32 offices, including Memphis. For more information, visit

Since its founding in 2005, Paragon Bank has maintained a solid focus on the community and customer service. For more than 10 years, Paragon has delivered innovative products and financial expertise, convenience, and a deep understanding of what both businesses and individuals need from a ban, in order to provide solutions that make a difference. In the areas of business or personal banking, lending options or wealth management, Paragon delivers cutting edge technology, an experienced team and the most service-oriented staff of any community bank.