Marketing In A Recession - The Golden Rules
Firstly, don’t panic about marketing. It’s not a science but it is an art.
Here are some tips of what you should be doing and more importantly what you shouldn’t be to help you survive and grow. A tough economic climate might seem an unlikely environment for growth but those that pick up the challenge will see greater returns for far less investment than at any other economic phase.
Don’t just take my word for it.
"It is well documented that brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times."
Professor, Harvard Business School
What to do
üUnderstand your audience.
What are their motivations, what journey do they take to research buying your product or service? What do they need to know, can relate to and what will give them confidence to choose your business over alternatives and more importantly your competitors? Ensure your marketing communications are effective and targeted with these factors in mind.
üIncrease your spend if you can afford to.
Brands increasing or maintaining their spend come out of a downturn ahead in share terms and maintain those advantages when the economy picks up. Keep confident in your offering and your marketing strategy. Can you afford not to?
üMaintain marketing spend at the very least.
A difficult economy is not the time to cut marketing and advertising. It is well documented that brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times. It is cheaper and easier to grow market share in an economic downturn than when the entire market is in growth.
üDon’t just focus on the bottom line.
Much of marketing is an integrated approach and so stopping a campaign or dropping one element of it save a few pounds today, may have a negative effect on the performance of the collaborative campaign as a whole and cost you far more in the long term.
Make time to review your marketing. When times are good less analysis of any buying decision occurs. Accountability is essential. Make time to understand your strategy, involve professional help that can guide and advise you. It’s money well spent and your return on investment will be worth far more than the expenditure.
What not to do
û Don’t just cut marketing advertising budgets.
There is no evidence that cutting back during a downturn benefits even short term profitability. It may make you feel better right now but you will live to regret it and will have lost business opportunities in the process and when you need it the most.
û Don’t panic!
Stay confident and focused. Brands increasing or maintaining their spend come out of a downturn ahead in share terms and maintain those advantages when the economy picks up. True many are big business but they were small once and how do you think they grew? Marketing wisely.
ûDon’t put a freeze on your marketing plan or your brand ones either.
It is cheaper and easier to grow market share in an economic downturn than when the entire market is in growth.
û Don’t just focus on the bottom line. Be financially realistic yes, but ensure whatever you do spend is measurable and that you have professional communications using proven marketing channels. This increases your quality and level of response and reduces risk.
ûDon’t sit tight and wait for it all to blow over.
Your competitors won’t and they will reap the benefit of their courage and insight by stealing your customers! After all they didn’t even know you were there. Recovery will happen, but it will be the companies that are stronger, smarter and more robust in their business objectives who will growth at a faster pace than those who retracted for survival in these challenging times.
Author Sharon Kennedy