How to market in a downturn: Is this the need of the hour?
A majority of the countries are in lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis. With people afraid of venturing out of their homes due to the fear of the virus, most of the businesses are reporting a lack of sales and a drop in revenues.
Job losses are a risk, everyone is staring at due to the extended lockdown around the world. This will result in a decrease in the disposable income of people, which will, in turn, affect their buying decisions. The world is looking at the possibility of a looming economic recession due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Recession can wreak havoc to ill-prepared businesses. The last recessions caused more than 400,000 businesses to go bankrupt and shut shop. It is always recommended to create strategies to overcome recessions well ahead of time, to ensure your business stays afloat during and after the recession.
How to market in a downturn – Strategies to Help You During Recession
Understand Where to Cut Costs and Where Not To
When recession strikes, one of the primary tasks done by the businesses is to cut marketing costs. However, studies prove that cutting marketing costs arbitrarily during the recession will not have any long-term benefits for your business. Companies that work to maintain their brand awareness and stay in touch with the target audience are the ones that benefit in the long -term.
Most of businesses cut down their marketing expenditure during the recession. So you stand to gain when you continuously engage with the audience even during the recession. You can easily overtake your competitors and build your brand even when the times are tough.
Understand Your Customers Recession Behaviour
People change according to the circumstances around them. The way they behave during normal times may be completely different when compared to their behavior during the recession. The behavior also varies depending on the demographics such as age, income, etc. Hence it is recommended not to assume anything.
You have to understand how your target audience behaves during the recession. Learn what motivates them and how they behave when faced with a downturn. This will help you to tailor your recession marketing strategies to suit their preferences.
Track and Analyze Marketing Strategies
Analyze each of your marketing campaigns, and measure the ROI of every campaign. Look at each of your marketing campaigns objectively and retain the ones that provide optimum results.
You can use the latest analytical tools such as google analytics to track and measure your digital marketing strategies. Comb the data to gain insights about the best performing strategies that yield good results and the ones you can cut-off from the recession marketing strategy.
Do Not Forget Your Existing Customers
According to the Pareto principle, 20% of your customers contribute to 80% of your sale. It is easier to keep your existing customers happy and develop brand loyalty than acquiring new customers during the economic downturn. Your customers are your biggest assets and you have to focus on strategies to keep your customers happy.
Happy customers are your brand’s best promotion. They not only increase sales with repeat purchases but also recommend your brand to others.
Constantly Test and Optimize Your Marketing Strategies
You have to constantly track, test, and optimize all your marketing strategies for better returns. Tracking and testing strategies help you to identify the ones that are successful in pushing the buyers quickly through the buyer’s funnel.
Content marketing is one of the best marketing strategies that yield maximum ROI. If you are a small or medium scale business wondering how to survive the tough times and get your business back on track, content marketing will come to your rescue. Content marketing is a low-cost digital marketing tool that provides high ROI.
Reasons To Invest in Content Marketing Right Now To Reap Benefits In The Future.
Lowers Marketing Spend
Content marketing is highly cost-effective to reach out and engage with your audience. Sharing well-researched content that adds value to the knowledge of your prospective customers helps to develop trust and build brand awareness. 72% of digital marketers state that content marketing helps to improve engagement and generates more leads. Unlike paid search, content marketing does not require continuous cash flow to get leads and traffic.
Stay Ahead of Competitors
During the slowdown times, most businesses spend less on marketing. This gives you a golden chance to impress customers with credible and authoritative content. Most of the world population is grappling with the problems and challenges because of the lockdown. Providing useful content that educates and empowers the audience during these tough times helps to build a relationship with the target audience. This helps to promote brand awareness and build loyalty among the customers, which will help to improve sales when things return to normal.
Clear and Permanent Outcomes
Content marketing provides 3 times more leads to pay-per-click marketing. The long-term benefits of content marketing outweigh the investment and costs. Moreover, it also helps to establish your brand’s thought leadership in the industry. When compared to other outbound marketing strategies content marketing costs 62% less and provides measurable outcomes in the long-term.
Content marketing is like a breath of fresh air to the customers, who are frustrated with ad overload. They prefer to engage with brands that provide valuable and helpful content, which helps them to solve their everyday challenges.
Increase Sales When the Economy Recovers
The economy will recover from the recession caused due to the pandemic in a couple of years. Investing in content marketing at present will help to reap the benefits at a later time.
You can create blogs, videos, or infographics to keep the audience posted about the latest developments, and how to stay safe during the pandemic times. You can also share videos or hold contests to entertain the audience while they are locked at home.
This helps to constantly be in touch with your customers through content marketing and develop trust in them. So when they have the necessity for products and services from your niche, they immediately remember your brand.
Develops The Perception of Brand Strength
Continuously creating and publishing valuable content even during the recessions will help to create a perception of stability and strength in the audience. It creates the impression that you are a reliable brand and motivates the customers to buy your products and services.
No matter what marketing strategies you employ, you will have to face some financial crisis due to losing sales during the economic recession. However, understanding the hardships and mindset of your customers and finding creative ways to address them can help to increase sales during the touch time.
Tips to Boost Sales During Recession
Build Customer Relationships
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Invest time and energy to build long term relationships with your customers. Reward them for their loyalty and let them know they are valuable.
Content marketing is an excellent tool to build customer relationships. You can send weekly newsletters to keep in touch with the customers and provide them with information about how you can meet their needs during the recession.
Reevaluate Your Pricing
Although it does not make sense to cut product prices during the recession, you can surely alter your product-mix. Promote lower-priced products that suit the budget of your target audience. As people tend to curb their expenses during the recession, lower-priced items that suit their requirements and budget can help you improve sales.
You can use digital marketing to inform the audience about the different products in your product range, their features, and how they are superior to competitors.
Even though you alter the product mix or product features, provide value to the customers. The customers should feel that they are getting their money’s worth when they buy your products or services.
Use content marketing to inform and educate your prospective customers about the value offered by your products. For example, if you are selling a food product, let the customers know its health benefits and taste when compared to similar brands. This helps the customer feel that they are getting value for price and keeps them coming back to buy more.
Use Innovative Recession Marketing Strategies
In order to keep your business afloat during the recession, you have to use innovative strategies. Customers are very careful with their spending during an economic downturn as their income is less. They research and review the brand before making the buying decision. You can ask for referrals, reviews, and testimonials from your existing customers. These reviews and testimonials are far effective in convincing prospective customers when compared to paid ads.
You can also conduct market research to identify new demographics, new customers, new industries, and new markets, you can cater to. This will increase your customer base and helps to improve sales.
Recession is a tough time to run a business, especially if you are a start-up or an SME. But devising proper marketing strategies to recession-proof your business will help you to survive the financial crisis and establish your business.
Content marketing is an effective tool to promote your business and reach out to customers during the recession. However, it is crucial to identify the right strategies that provide good ROI and continuously track them to measure the performance.
Take care of your customers and think out-of-the-box to come up with innovative marketing strategies to develop your brand during the present economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic.