Don’t cut back on Marketing
It’s no secret that many businesses overlook their marketing efforts in making the business successful. As a result, when a recession hits, the first thing they do is cut off the marketing budget without realising that this will hurt the business at the later stage.
Yes sure, it sounds like a quick solution to keep the business afloat. But cutting your marketing budget means cutting off your valuable customers/clients that might otherwise help you weather an economic downturn.
As we are now entering the 4th Industrial revolution, digital marketing gets more powerful and more efficient every day. But how do we make it work with a tight budget? Running a digital campaign on a tight budget is an opportunity to leverage off your most valuable customers and clients. With the right messaging, you can micro-target and easily influence your customers’ purchase behaviour. The ability to influence purchasing behaviour by delivering relevant messaging directly to individual customers makes marketing one of the last things you should consider cutting back on when leaner times are on the horizon.
Reassess your brand positioning
Tough economic times call for an opportunity to step back and reassess your brand’s positioning as this is the time where your customer’s loyalty will be put to a test. Depending on how bad things are, it will force your valuable customers to reconsider where they spend their money.
The first step to take in assessing your position against your competitors is to perform a brand audit. A brand audit is a thorough examination of a brand’s current position in the market compared to its competitors and a review of its effectiveness. It helps you determine the strength of your brand together with its weaknesses or inconsistencies and opportunities for improvement and new developments.
Knowing how and when your competitors interact with their target audience can benefit you by reducing some of the trial and error you will have to do. If you have a similar target audience, for example, you can learn from them by watching which strategies succeed and which ones do not.
The key is to find ways to address the unique needs of those who are suffering during the recession by offering a distinct value they can leverage to pull themselves through the hard times.
Focus on your unique value
One of the best strategies is to focus on what you do best and understand the value you provide for your customers. Once this is established, it is important to be able to communicate it concisely to your target audience.
Any customer lifetime value analysis will tell you ‘your best customers are very expensive to replace’. So how do you keep your customers? You offer them a value that will increase their loyalty. Price- cutting DOES NOT cut it. The best way is to have specialized offerings which can make it harder for you to be replaced. Brands that target niche industries with niche products and/ or services have a better chance to withstand a recession because their customers don’t have the luxury of looking for alternatives.
Explore new audiences
This may be a bit scary because you think you might be wasting your time and money when you can least afford to, but it is not always the case. When you perform good research on your new target audience, you will be able to tailor your product or service accordingly.
A recession can also be the best time to launch a new brand or venture altogether. The competition is measurably less intense, and customers are more likely to respond to unique value offered by an alternative to the brands they normally buy. Offset risk by targeting smaller, niche audiences during the downturn and then use the foundation to grow the business post-recession.
Capitalize on opportunities
Recession is not all too bad, it also comes with opportunities. This is the time to bring your creativity to play: Innovate, experiment with new service options, new packaging, new delivery mechanism or whatever that you have been longing to do for your business. The point is to gauge what audiences will respond to and then take it from there.
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