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Why You Should Market During a Downturn

In hard times a company’s natural instinct is to go into survival mode. While it’s normal to want to cut back on spending wherever you can, there’s a lot to suggest that marketing through a downturn is the best course of action. Cutting your marketing costs may seem like the easiest option, but here’s why it might be a major strategic misstep. 

Right now we are living in unprecedented times, but in tackling the challenges ahead it is important to study the successes and failures of companies who have navigated downturns in the past. 

Learning from the Great Recessions impact on consumers’ behaviour, we can determine what certain strategies propelled or weakened those companies’ performance. Namely, when sales start to drop, businesses typically cut marketing expenditures in areas from communication to advertising, which was found to be a mistake.

If you are keen to use marketing to cement your position during lockdown but aren’t sure where to start, take advantage of one of our cost-free digital audits.

Retaining Customers

While looking more carefully at marketing budgets is necessary, failing to support your brand or your existing customer base can have long-term consequences. Maintaining visibility in your market is vital to long term growth and profitability. 

First, you need to examine your core customers changing needs and then adjust your strategy, tactics and offers accordingly. Adapting to the new market reality will take research, you need to understand your customers and how they are defining value in our ‘new normal.’ 

Try to focus on how your business can be of value from a family and community stand-point, as customers retreat indoors this is what will be at the forefront of their mind. Similarly, now is the time to highlight your company’s core values, emphasizing how you are keeping your employees and customers safe.

Once you understand your core customers, you can adjust spending. It’s advised that you maintain your average spend or even increase it. Now is the time to be bold, to take advantage of market consolidation you could update your pricing tactics or product offering, big promotions will help gain customer support. 

You need to work smart to retain your existing customer base and drive new conversions. After all, it is always cheaper to keep existing customers than to acquire new ones. 

Content Marketing 

Use creative content and social media marketing as your arsenal for keeping in touch with customers. The large majority of people working from home at this time means that you can benefit from the ‘Mere Exposure Effect’ whereby consumers develop a preference for your product or service simply because they are familiar with it. 

Try to focus on putting out high-quality shareable content and your marketing spend will level out. If you want to keep your brand visible in front of potential clients, invest in a digital marketing partner. At Strive Digital, we can create content that elevates your business and enhances your brand in line with increased exposure and changes in consumer perceptions. 

Grow Your Market Share

It is likely that most businesses will reduce their marketing investment during a downturn. With that assumption, now is your chance to get ahead of the competition. When customers’ business becomes harder to win, it is the companies that stand out that succeed. 

Businesses that go quiet could be perceived to be on the decline, so it is important to stay visible. Although your pool of potential customers may shrink, the noise from your competitors will too. Which brings greater attention to your business, by being the strongest voice in a small market you can cement or even expand your market share. 

The reduced ‘noise level’ means that the cost of advertising will drop, which presents an ideal time for your business to reposition your brand or even introduce a new product. The major advantage of digital advertising is that it’s measurable, so take this time to seek out new opportunities for growth.  

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The old marketing adage of “when times are good you should advertise, when times are bad you must advertise” has stuck around for a reason. By projecting an image of corporate stability in challenging times, you are creating a narrative that will be noticed, shared and remembered by consumers. Focusing your efforts on digital marketing is what will help you stand out now and flourish after the downturn passes. 

At Strive Digital, we can help your business ‘stand out’ to your market with our talented and experienced pool of designers, developers and marketers. Browse the range of services we offer to help position your company and connect with your audience today.

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