By Arif Kazi
Recession is a very strong word leading businesses to hit the freeze button for cash outflow. Every business wants to save their cash as consumers’ spending pattern is bearish during this time. The US is looming to date from the impact of nearly a dozen of official recessions that it has been through since 1945.
Being on the brink of facing yet another recession, we must gauge our expenses like all the other businesses, but to halt or cut off the marketing spend through this period is a strict no-no, suggestion.
Why so? First of all, limited marketing activities will lead to a drop in market share and the brand’s voice which will in turn lead to limited brand awareness. If your products are valuable but you are not marketing them amid the recession, the prospective customers will not find you and give in to your competitor brands. With a high count of such missed market opportunities, your long-term brand visibility can get hampered.
To avoid failing at the opportune moment, here are nine ways that you might want to consider to remain profitable even in times of an economic downturn.
Constant branding is key – A recession certainly asks for more effort than at other times. But you need to be there, showcasing to your existing and prospective customers that your brand is present. With lean competition, the space is quite free with more room for your marketing message to be quickly picked by the viewers. Planning a healthy mix of activities throughout the month including emails, blogs, newsletters, and online advertisements will help keep consistency in your brand’s voice to reach the right audience.
Invest in performing marketing channels – You want your investment to be yielding high returns for which you cannot go all out in branding on each channel and extinguishing your limited budget in the name of nurturing leads. Your approach must be calculated. Review which channels led your way in generating the most leads, engaging maximum customers to your brand, etc. If you market your products constantly on Facebook or Instagram, see which ads performed the best. An expert in digital marketing can aid your understanding of which channel has been working in favour of your brand and which ones have been money guzzlers with little to no turnout rate.
Track the consumer spending behaviour and adapt – The audience will barely spend if there is not a need that suits you, especially during times of recession. Seeing how the customers are spending across your industry and making the marketing adjustment will help you stay afloat in these turbulent times. For example – if credit-based payments are what the customers are seeking at the moment of purchase, you must maximise your reach to channel partners who are willing to adopt the structure of credit-based payments. Reduced fear over one-time payment by providing customers with flexible EMI options is beneficial too.
Hyper-focused approach for maximum returns – garnering maximum ROI for every investment in a marketing plan is every marketing professional’s expectation irrespective of the market scenario being bullish or bearish. Targeted marketing helps you reach the niche audience directly which helps you maximise your returns. If you run an artisanal chocolate business, your conduct to maximise conversions for your chocolates would be by reaching out to the chocolate aficionados that you met and exchanged contacts with during the recently held chocolate exhibition. Personalised marketing to them will fetch you maximised returns.
The visual approach helps build brand voice – There couldn’t be a better way to engage existing and prospective consumers about your brand’s story, the value that it adds to the consumers, or the ongoing offers on your brand’s offerings, video format proven to engage maximum viewers in under one minute.
Invest in local SEO – If your business caters to a particular region, hiring a local SEO agency or expert will help you reach the leads through search engines the ideal way. Say your business is into tiles and bathroom ware, your Google Business Profile will appear as the top-most result when many contractors, individuals, and builders are seeking to source material for new builds and house renovation works. Maximum pictures, quick replies to Google Business queries, and legitimate phone numbers will do the thing for your business cost-effectively.
Maximise customer experience – You know your customers or to-be customers are already having a lot to suffer through amid a global cash-crunched scenario. You don’t want to hurt their sentiments by delivering them inferior quality services/ products. Say you running an online shoe business. To make your customer service better, you may want to engage your consumers through a spin game where they can bag assured freebies like a pair of socks, polishes, etc. This will aid word of mouth and make your marketing initiative way better even in times of economic downturn.
Nurturing leads plays an important role – Not all campaigns are a magic wand guaranteeing leads, we all as marketers understand. Especially in the backdrop of a recession, you might not clock any conversions possibly. In such times, nurturing your leads is what you must focus on. Educating them about the industry that you are working in and the importance of the same can keep your lead engaged to your brand to be converted in the long run once the recession fades. For example – If your business is into manufacturing air purifiers, you might want to inform the customers about the Indoor Air Quality Index and natural ways to improve it through your branded newsletters or blog posts.
Outsourcing a professional agency for your customised needs: While product development and other aspects of control costs may be on your cards as an immediate action against cash outflow, to keep your branding and marketing from suffering in times of recession, hiring a professional digital marketing agency like Dust Value can help you maximise your ROI that too cost-effectively.
Recessions have always been scary to not just marketing professionals but everyone in this world with a different magnitude of impact. Your core conduct must be on reorganising your workforce for efficient operations, continuous tracking of industry and market trends to adapt to, an able marketing team to track and predict changing consumer behaviour, strategised budgets for marketing activities, and last but not least – the courage and flexibility to strategise marketing even during recessions.
The author is the founder and managing director of Dust Value