How to Market Your Business During a Downturn
While the U.S. economy isn’t necessarily in a full-blown recession right now, the GDP has been relatively stagnant for some time, and with uncertainty stemming from upcoming events like the implementation of the Brexit and the presidential election looming on the horizon, many businesses are looking ahead.
Increasingly, companies are trying to look to the future and start planning for what they’ll do if there is a recession, or even if they’re just part of an overall economic downturn.
In the Firmex.com report “Mid-Market M&A: Riding Out the Downturn,” analysts don’t rule out the possibility of an impending recession and a drop in consumer demand.
So what should businesses do regarding their marketing if there is a decline in consumer demand resulting from a downturn or a full-blown recession?
One of the first thing many businesses do when they see a slowdown on the horizon is stop marketing altogether. There tends to be the feeling that they should reign everything in and save money wherever possible, and unfortunately marketing and advertising are often first on the chopping block.
That can be a big mistake.
What you should do, instead of assuming all marketing should cease to happen is do an audit of your marketing. Use data and analytics to uncover what’s not working and cut that out, while doubling down on your most effective forms of marketing. A downturn is the time to get smarter with how you operate every aspect of your business, and that includes marketing.
Once you’ve done an audit of your marketing, you’ll likely see new opportunities to be incredibly targeted with your marketing. Consider investing in data analytics and predictive modeling software so you can see not only who your customers are, but where you can reach them and how you can most effectively gain their attention.
You also need to be targeted in not only reaching out to new customers, but a downturn is an ideal time to put a lot of focus on cultivating loyalty with your current clients. Be responsive and accessible to them, and send them marketing materials and content that’s going to speak to their specific needs. When customers are feeling the uncertainty of a downturn or a recession, they’re more likely to go with the brands and businesses they already trust, so take advantage of this.
When it comes to marketing during a downturn, you might not just need to change how you reach customers, but also what you’re offering them. Anytime consumers are feeling an economic pinch, they might change their demands, so if you’re ahead of the curve, you can be prepared to market those items they’re more likely to want or need before your competition.
You may find for example that your lower-priced segments are well out-performing your luxury items, so you can move your marketing resources to focus on those areas, and if you’re looking ahead, you can take this step well before your competitors.
An economic slowdown doesn’t mean you cut marketing. Instead, it means you think smarter about how you’re marketing and using technology and resources. You may find that after the economy is back on the upswing, you’ve actually cultivated a strong new customer base during the tough times, because of your marketing tac