The Chinese curse, "may you live in interesting times," must have been coined in a business climate similar today's. The credit crunch and its reverberations are being widely felt, nowhere more so than in smaller organizations that have fewer marketing resources than the big boys.

Marketers need help to navigate these tricky economic waters while staying focused on profitable expansion rather than contraction. If you can grow, even in these times, you will emerge on the other side of the economic crisis ahead of the competition.

Creativity, combined with on-demand marketing tools, will help. When budgets are tight is the best time to try new and less-costly techniques leveraging Web 2.0 technologies.

What Is the Right Marketing Mix?

Web 2.0 technologies offer new ways for you to reach your audience for little to no cost. Customers have become inoculated to tired methods like email and even pay-per-click. Waiting for them to visit your Web site is simply insufficient to drive growth. Instead, the new generation of marketing tools includes things like social communities, Web site syndication tools, gadgets, and RSS feeds because they are online ("on-demand"), scaling to any size of audience. The best part is that most Web 2.0 technologies are easy to use and are, often, free.

So which Web 2.0 marketing tools can best help you promote your Web site, content, and applications? Remember that before using any of these you must first work out what specific strategic marketing goals you are trying to achieve. Then, see how some, or all of these options, can work together to achieve your goals.

Social networking platforms are extremely popular now. Create a page on Facebook or MySpace for your company or product. Or you can create your own social network at Ning. Populate your page with gadgets and fresh content. Start a group or a fan page so prospective and current customers can stay in touch.

Web site syndication tools put your Web site on the move. For example, if you put the best elements of your Web site on a community toolbar that sits in the browser, then your company goes everywhere on the Internet that your customer does.

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Adam Boyden is president of Conduit (, which powers apps for Web publishers and offers a platform to enable publishers to create apps using their own brand and content.