Marketing in a Recession: Fine-Tune Your Strategies

A downturn often sends most brands and advertisers into a cost-saving mode. They believe it isn’t the right time to attract leads and sales.

But the trick is to stay calm and seize this opportunity to soar higher. Revisit lessons from past recessions and study your market, consumers, and competition. 

Instead of bailing out or cutting costs, tailor a winning strategy to propel your brand beyond the stressful period. Let’s dive deeper, shall we?

Lessons from Past Recessions

Here are some of the insights dug up from past downturns:

1. Keep your eyes on long-term goals

The last recession saw brands reducing ad spending, hoping to save money. But the result was plummeting ad revenues. However, revenue from online ads rose since big data was growing from its infancy. 

But businesses began to engage in short-term activation ads, leading to losses later. That means long-term brand building is the secret to effective campaigns.

2. Protect your share of voice (SOV)

SOV measures your company’s market share relative to your rivals. In other words, it’s the measure of your category ad spend. 

Some brands reduced their SOV in 2008. While they enjoyed a short-term jump in profitability, their market share fell in the long run. Regaining the SOV proved hard.

3. Grab market and growth opportunity

Prudent advertisers used the last recession’s low SOV costs to grow. You can learn from them and capitalize on today’s advertising opportunities.

For example, a house-bound population and more screen periods mean more eyeballs on ads. Target this group with online and TV marketing to boost your revenue.  

4. Portray warmth and humanity

In hard times, doing the usual advertising may alienate consumers. It’s good to monitor the market mood and gather insights continuously. That way, you can inject the right tone into your marketing at every step of the recession journey. 

If the masses show solidarity in adversity like the recent global pandemic, follow suit to earn their respect and loyalty. You can even offer free offerings to show people you’re helping where you can. 

5. Monitor changing consumer habits

Consumers rush to improve their at-home experience during a recession to cut costs. For example, most stay home more, reduce vacations, avoid eat-outs, and watch a film from their comfortable coaches.  

Bargaining and coupon clipping have also become a norm. People may reduce spending on certain items or avoid top brands in favour of less expensive ones.

Why Is a Marketing Strategy Crucial During a Recession? 

Marketing is important in both turbulent and calm periods. But as consumers focus more on essential offerings during the downturn, you should adopt new or altered strategies that reflect the new spending habits. 

Here’s why you need to continue marketing even when things look gloomy:

1. Boost market share as product releases decrease

Product releases and campaigns are forces behind market shares. Buyers will rarely gamble with newly launched offerings in a downturn, so new products coming to market reduce. 

That implies your brand won’t contend with many options screaming for consumers’ attention— the buyers won’t shop around as much as they would have in normal periods. You get a chance to create or improve an offering that they’ll most likely grab. 

2. Take advantage of the reduced rivalry 

Reduced competitors’ investment in research and development or marketing means a slow release of new and existing items. Therefore, you get more room to boost your market share. 

Maintain a budget for these departments to improve your offerings and strengthen laser-targeted campaigns. Let consumers know that your items are the right solutions to their pain points. 

3. Cutting ad costs reduces brand influence

Lowering ad spend reduces awareness, loyalty, and search results. Rivals can easily zoom past your brand to fill the void. So it’s crucial to maintain an ad budget for a strong online presence. And have the foresight to take advantage of post-downturn recovery and catapult your returns.

4. Keep abreast with consumer needs

A recession causes low to medium-income customers to go for essential offerings instead of luxurious offerings. That means maintaining or recycling the current content strategy won’t cut it. 

Instead, study your audience’s purchase habits and tweak your strategy accordingly. Keeping up with your consumer needs balloons your chances of long-term success.

5. Track KPIs

Content that works in good times won’t give stellar results during an economic depression. So strategizing in a downturn helps you remain relevant to buyers. 

This period allows you to track your content strategy’s efficacy and KPIs. And since some new consumer behaviours tend to stick even beyond a recession, you get to know what new strategies work and what don’t.  

Top Downturn Marketing Tips

Your brand needs long-term marketing strategies to emerge stronger at the other end. So instead of cutting your budget, employ these tried-and-true tips:

1. Capitalize on consumer loyalty

Loyalty is a powerful saviour in times of economic turmoil. So focus on marketing to current customers rather than trying to entice new ones. 

Demonstrate your appreciation. Send frequent emails laden with coupons, surveys, and strong messages. That way, you’ll become a stable brand that stands taller amidst a storm. 

2. Content is king and queen, so crown your Strategy

Competition nosedives as brands rush to cut advertising costs, leading to less expensive and easier content marketing. Grab this golden opportunity to rank well on search engine titans and attract relevant website traffic.

Keyword research, competitive analysis, and other tools will aid you. Throw in enticing calls to action to take web visitors down your marketing funnel. 

3. Spy your competitors and win market share from them

Remember to study your competition as you tweak your path to success. Check if they’ve subdued their advertising and consider their communication with consumers. 

Have the competitors reduced their marketing? That most likely implies reduced ad spending. You know the drill here—rush to fill the void. 

4. Make just enough relevant changes

Changing your strategies is important. But stay clear from drastic changes such as rebranding—lest you shoot yourself in the foot.

Embrace a concise and consistent marketing effort. Otherwise, consumers will get confused or get the illusion that your brand is struggling. 

5. Tweak KPIs and goals

Monitor analytics and KPIs to determine whether your recession strategy is a hit or miss. Employ the insights to tailor data-driven goals. 

Retire non-performing campaigns and focus on those attracting leads, sales, and profits. That way, you won’t burn your money and time. 

WordSeed Supercharges Your Prospecting Game

It’s now your turn to walk the talk. Speak to one of the WordSeed team for guidance on your recession marketing journey. 

We strive to help brands like yours secure contextually relevant coverage on online news sites and blogs. Get started today

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