Successful marketing, in any situation, requires a combination of insight, patience and execution. In today's economic conditions, these requirements are doubly important.

The right approach requires more than just cutting costs and coasting while waiting out the slump. Only good planning, prioritization and adherence to the principle that “success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration” can snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, or at least from the competition.

This article illustrates how a “stick-to-the-basics” marketing program can help technology vendors thrive even in a down economy.

The marketing approach that can carry you through these difficult economic times is built on the following five essentials:

    1. Know your company's real value.

    2. Know your customer.

    3. Keep your salespeople well informed, well educated and well armed.

    4. Stay consistently visible.

    5. Keep it simple.

1. Know your company's real value

Every technology company must routinely question its own value proposition. Why do customers buy your product? Is it a “must have” or “nice to have”?

Because some technology purchases can fall into the category of “nice to have,” a down economy can put purchases like this on the back burner. Many prospects have developed a “wait and see” attitude, which has been a major factor in the decline and disappearance of a number of smaller technology companies.

In a booming market, poor value propositions are cushioned by the rising tide and less-stringent customer purchase criteria. Today, however, even small technology purchases face intense scrutiny.

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Terry Welty is VP of Marketing for HAHT Commerce, Inc. and can be reached at