Given the uncertainty about an economic recovery, many businesses are asking themselves whether the risk of holding the line on marketing budgets is greater than the risk of reducing those budgets. But marketing during a recession is not a luxury — it’s a necessity. Effective marketing can help you grow your business and weather the economic downturn, but it’s important to have a plan in place before you start.
That’s why we have put together a list of marketing tactics to help you survive and perhaps even thrive during a recession. The key is to focus on strategies that produce measurable results and provide value to customers. These strategies can also help you attract and retain customers during a recession by helping you build relationships and strengthen your brand.
How Recessions Influence Marketing Budgets
Marketing budgets are typically the first to be cut during a recession. This is because companies need to focus on their core business and don’t have time to invest in new initiatives or outside marketing agencies. But that can be a big mistake.
A recession is an opportunity for you to rethink your marketing strategy, focusing on tactics that have been proven to work. This allows you to attract new customers and retain existing ones — perhaps even building a brand capable of weathering the storm until things get better.
Changing Consumer Buying Behaviors
When times are tough, consumers become more frugal with their spending habits. And while they might still want to purchase your product or service, they may not be willing to pay as much as they used to. You need to understand how the recession has changed consumer buying behaviors and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
For example, if you’ve been offering a product or service at a premium price point, you may need to lower that price so that it’s more affordable for your target audience. Or, if you’ve been focusing on getting more customers through word-of-mouth referrals, this might be an opportunity to try out some paid advertising like radio spots or billboards.
Whatever you do, use this time to make changes that will help you grow your business more effectively. Be creative and treat the recession as an opportunity to build and prepare. It won’t last forever.
Recessions Can Help You in Unexpected Ways
Boosting your marketing budget is one of the best things you can do to prepare for a recession. As your competitors cut back on their marketing budgets, you’ll be able to get more bang for your buck. This is especially true if you’re trying to reach new customers who have never heard of your product or service before.
There are many reasons to spend on marketing during a recession, including:
- Less expensive advertising requirements
- Less competition to deal with
- More time to create a campaign that will resonate with your target audience
- An opportunity to refine your message and make sure it’s clear and concise
You can also use this time to build relationships with current customers, which will help them stick with you when the tough times end. Remember that the goal of a marketing campaign is to drive sales, and nothing will do that like a strong message.
Recessions are also the time for retailers to be creative. Consider offering special promotions or discounts just for those who have been loyal customers. You might also consider running an ad campaign encouraging people to buy items now before prices increase again later in the year.
Tips for Marketing During a Recession
A recession always creates a feeling of gloom and doom. Every business owner has a lot to worry about, but marketing is something that you cannot afford to ignore. The good news is that there are some simple things that you can do to help your business move through the recession and come out stronger than ever before.
Change Your Messaging
When times are tough, it’s essential that you don’t try to sell more than your customer base can handle. During a recession, people are looking for value and want to know what they are getting in return for their money. If you are not providing them with quality and affordable service, they’ll look for someone else who can deliver what they need.
You also want to be realistic when it comes to your messaging. Using words like “cheap” or “bargain basement” in your advertising during a recession is tempting. But don’t devalue your brand. You have to prove that your service is worth the price. If you talk about how cheap or inexpensive your services are, people will assume that you are not providing them with quality work.
Become Emotionally Aware and Contextual
Being emotionally aware means understanding who you are, what you do, and why you do it. It means knowing your brand story inside and out so that everything you communicate about your company is relevant and meaningful. It also means knowing how people feel about your industry and what they expect from it. You can only do this by listening to them — through surveys, focus groups, and other forms of market research.
Understand that your customers are humans, not data points or statistics. They have real-life stories and feelings that are as unique to them as your brand story is to you. You need to understand their needs, wants, and desires to speak to them in a natural and authentic way.
Work With a Professional Agency During a Recession
Marketing during a recession isn’t a walk in the park. You have to be able to adapt your strategies and tactics to meet market demands. This is where professional agencies come in. Good marketing agencies can help your company get through the recession by offering cost-effective solutions that allow you to reach your target audience.
NeONBRAND can help you create a marketing plan tailored to your company and audience. We can help you develop an effective recession strategy that meets your marketing objectives while staying within budget constraints.