We are certainly in unprecedented times as the economy starts to recover from the Coronavirus shock but is there anything we can learn from marketing in previous downturns that will help us cope with the next few months and years?
Well, yes there is, and one of the key things is to not stop marketing. A review of your current marketing strategy and marketing spend might be necessary but don’t be tempted to stop altogether.
Now we know you might say we have a vested interest in this but there are sound reasons why marketing through a recession will be beneficial.
Here’s why continuing with your marketing even when others aren’t is a good idea:
- More space for your message – as your competitors cut back, there will less noise so your message has a greater chance of cutting through. Your brand awareness will grow and more customers will consider you when they are planning a purchase.
- Lower costs – advertising costs on social media and many other media costs might well come down as demand falls. Never be afraid to negotiate down from the rate card cost!
- Stability – you will demonstrate that your business is stable, resilient and trustworthy.
Get to know your new customers
Some consumers will behave differently in a recession and it is important to understand that and respond accordingly. This article in the Harvard Business Review was written in 2009 but has some really interesting insights into the new consumer types which emerge in a recession – from those who stop spending entirely; to those who don’t let it bother them; to those who are rich enough not to have to worry.
This also links back to our blog last week about lipstick sales and how consumers still look for ways to treat themselves with affordable luxuries in hard times.
So you might have spent years getting to know your customers but now you should spend a bit of time getting to know them all over again.
Realigning your products
The HBR article also identifies 4 categories of products or services that emerge at times like these:
The key to success here will be making a Treat seem like an Essential (we’re back to lipstick again) or an Expendable be at the very least a Postponable if not an Essential.
Turning from stop to go
So now you’ve decided that marketing in the current climate is, in fact, really important, where’s the best place to start? There are three things to think about:
- Think about if you can save a bit of money by bringing some marketing activity in-house. For example, can a member of staff be trained to run your social media instead of outsourcing it?
- Think about your customers and watch how they change behaviour. Look at the numbers, listen to feedback and keep up to date with news in your industry area.
- Think about your product offering and, as we said before, see if you can find your lipstick.
Asking for help from a marketing professional now can also pay dividends going forwards as putting in place a sound marketing strategy and plan right at the beginning will mean you get better results and better sales. Just contact us for more information and help if you want to get your marketing fit for tough times.