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By Mark Kolier

Almost every company has been forced to cut spending. Employees are being shown the door in increasingly alarming numbers. And marketing budgets and marketers? It seems first the budget is cut and then you are.

Smart marketers know that recessions also present opportunities that donít exist when times are good. Increasing market share while the competition frets about expenses, should be at the top of your priority list.

Here are 8 Ďbudget consciousí tips to give your marketing initiatives maximum impact:

1) Focus on customer service as your top priority. Why do people keep coming back to Amazon and Zappos.com? Unparalleled customer service. It doesnít matter what they sell. Just how they do business.

2) Ensure your website offers a customer-friendly experience. Task outsiders to continually test your website for functionality and intuitive navigation. Always test new ideas and looks. Your website should not be static, since consumerís tastes are continually evolving. Will video increase customer engagement? If you never try you will never know. And donít talk yourself out of an idea because you think it might be too expensive. Check out the costs first; you may be surprised.

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Mark Kolier is the President and Founder of CGSM.
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