Business Tools


SEMA’s webinar on October 16, "Right-On, No-Bull Guide to Marketing in a Tough Economy," outlined several ways for companies in the specialty-equipment industry to capture profitable market share even in the current tough economic climate.

Presenter Brian Offenberger of BizGrowth Solutions provided proven “recession-proof” steps to business prosperity that will spurn company growth in both good times and bad.

Offenberger suggests that in order to implement a strategy that can be adhered to through up and down times, companies need to address the following with honesty: Do you know exactly who your customers are? Does your company have a clear set of goals and objectives? Do you have a strategy to meet your goals?

Offenberger outlined 10 steps in his presentation. Among the steps covered were providing your customers with value-based differences to buy from your company and using the power of the Internet to help promote your company and make it easier to buy from you.

Offering customers value-based differences is a strategy that can be used by any company, suggested Offenberger, and these differences let people know quickly why they should do business with you and not your competitors. The value-based differences should be clear and measurable and solve the problems or address the needs of your customers. “Remember that buyers come to you for a reason; they have a problem they want you to solve or a need that they want you to fulfill,” said Offenberger. “Formulate your marketing message by addressing the needs and problems of your customers.”

He also stressed the importance of not wasting time on marketing messages that are easily implemented by your competitors. “Don’t talk about your company and the fact that you have the best, most friendly staff because your competitors can also do that. Or the fact that your company has been in business for 20 years is great, but that’s not really a reason that someone will open their wallet and spend money with you.” 

When discussing the Internet, Offenberger showed that more people rely on the Internet for product information than most any other source available. He also provided these facts:

Internet Use

  • 72% of people in the United States use the Internet
  • 66% of the population has made an online purchase
  • 89% of people have used e-mail for customer service

Search Engine Facts

  • 70% of searchers only look at the first page of search results
  • 45% of searchers click on the top search result
  • Only 8% of users go past the third page of search results

“With the holiday season coming up and with a lot of people using the Internet for holiday purchases, my suggestion is to make gift cards available for your company,” noted Offenberger. “It’s just a little tip that will most likely provide a nice boost to your shop’s bottom line.” 

To learn about the other steps for marketing tough economy, download the entire presentation by visiting

SEMA's Webinar Program: The SEMA webinar program brings the world-class business seminars featured during the SEMA Show right to your desktop. Different business-building sessions are constantly added to the program, offering members the latest insight and practices from today’s leading speakers.

All SEMA webinars are conducted live and are open to all employees of SEMA-member companies free of charge. To participate, all you need is a computer with Internet access and a telephone. All previous SEMA webinars are available for download by clicking here. To view upcoming presentations that you can attend via telephone and Internet, click here.