Previous recessions have shown businesses that increase their marketing efforts will emerge stronger.
Economic downturns are tricky for organisations to navigate, you are cutting marketing spend to survive today but still want to invest to grow tomorrow.
Shifting Consumer Values and Behaviours
Speaking with our clients, we have discovered that not all businesses are appropriately equipped to handle the crisis. While a lot of organisations have previously done a deep dive into customer segments, these are no longer applicable now that consumer mindset and behaviours have shifted in response to the economic climate.
Consumers have reassessed priorities, revised budgets, and as a result they have most likely switched brands. Australians are doing it tough, so it is only natural that their perceptions of value have been redefined (e.g. Think of the rise of the essential items and decline of luxury items).
Your marketing is built on knowing what customers value and how they behave – if these have shifted in response to the economic climate, your strategy and tactics will now need to adapt.
Brand Building for Growth
According to a recent report by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions and The Communications Council, retaining current and prospective customers starts by focusing on increasing consumer’s awareness of your brand so you remain top of mind.
For those that don’t have patience, which I definitely understand, you must remind yourself and internal stakeholders that investing in your digital and traditional communications will not see returns in the short term – this is a long-term strategy. The success of your brand-building efforts will be seen in 6 to 12 months when consumer confidence increases.
At the very least, your brand needs to maintain a share of voice within the market to improve your chances of a faster profit recovery once the market conditions improve.
Key Messaging Backed by Action
Your customers' emotional connection with the brand is crucial, particularly during and post COVID-19. This messaging must be balanced with brand reinforcement, which can be tricky.
Inclusivity can be communicated with a ‘we’re all in this together’ notion and backing this with action can mean adjusting your offering to fit within consumers monetary constraints. Extending your product/service line to include more budget friendly options should be considered.
For example, during the 2007 – 2009 GFC Dell’s communications delivered key messages such as “Out of the box, within your means” and “Depend on Dell for simple solutions in tough times”. These communications featured products that were priced accordingly to fit within the customers budget, instead of aspirational high-end tech - it was realistic.
For small to medium-sized businesses that don’t have the luxury of an enormous marketing budget, adapting your marketing to suit the current circumstances can feel stressful and almost impossible.
However, previous research and observations highlight that even a small short-term investment can lead to long-term growth. While larger agencies come with a large price tag, you can still receive cost-effective marketing support. Our experienced team exist to offer agency-level expertise that doesn’t blowout the budget. If your business is struggling, we offer consultancy support, training and in-house solutions so that you don’t have to navigate the uncharted waters ahead alone.