It's been a hard few years economically, and though some say the recession is over, market indicators continue to flat-line or sink in most cases. It's not enough anymore to just have a unique niche or a catchy jingle. With consumer spending failing to pick up the way economists thought it would in recent months, according to the Commerce Department, companies need to consider the benefits of staying alive versus over-the-top marketing strategies that may not pay off.

Nobody wants their business to be boring, though, and to draw out consumer dollars means finding ways in-house to draw their attention, or using carefully-planned marketing to play on the most likely demographics. When business itself is risky, there's no room for needless precariousness.

Cheap and easy

One of the major ways you can target consumers without spending a dime is by taking to the internet. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter don't cost anything to establish or maintain a main page, allow for local market visibility and can project advertising materials much farther and for less money than traditional paper campaigns.

Mequoda recommends using email marketing as well. Customers can sign up online, in-store or through social networks to receive regular advertisements regarding products and promotions, increasing the success of these initiatives. Sending out regular emails can also remind customers of why they signed up for messages in the first place, usually creating a positive feedback loop with sales promotions and the store itself.

Focus on the base

It's nice to have a global perspective, but when push comes to shove, it is neighbors that are most likely to drop by for a compulsory shopping visit. Though many consumers are switching to online baskets versus in-store browsing, the traditional model is still a winner for local business.

Making the physical store an appealing break from the routine encourages both repeat and random visits, said Retail Touchpoints. Even chain stores have made the push to diversify floorplans and product arrangements to give a unique feel to every space. This will peak interest with shoppers to see how different places compare, and will allow for better ambience during trips. Associating positive energy and experiences with a business can lead to higher revenues.