Knowing where to spend precious marketing and advertising dollars during an economic downturn can be challenging. However, with the right strategies in place, your business can come out the other end of an economic slowdown intact. In fact, by adopting the right tactics, you can actually see an increase in revenue during these rough economic times. With so many businesses tightening their belts, it’s more important than ever to find ways to make your marketing and advertising lean while still getting the results you want. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do this during a recession that won’t break your budget but will still have a positive impact on your business moving forward. Here are six tips on how you can recession-proof your marketing and advertising:
Hold the Course
Now is not the time to overhaul your entire marketing and advertising funnel. Resilience and slow optimizations are vital during a time of great economic upheaval. Instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water, dig into the data and determine which marketing and advertising channel is delivering the most value.
Another way to recession-proof your marketing is to move away from traditional methods and get more from digital advertising. Invest more in digital channels such as social media, and search engine ads and optimization. With these channels, you can reach a wider audience for less money than you would with more traditional methods such as print or television. While you may be able to get away with cutting back on some of your more costly print marketing tactics, you can’t ignore digital marketing altogether. It’s estimated that by 2023, digital marketing will make up almost two-thirds of all marketing dollars spent.
Be Frugal with Ad Budgets
Digital advertising is growing in popularity because it’s such a lean avenue of reaching your target audience compared to TV and radio. Even the most frugal of ad budgets can get your first page rankings in your target location for your primary keyword targets.
Be Specific with Your Targeting
Take advantage of a slow season and review your past 12 months of customer acquisition data. You should refresh your user profiles annually to make sure you’re crystal clear about who comprises your target audience and customer base. Specifically, isolate the age, gender, location, in-market segment and affinity audience of every customer that came reached your business online. From there you can add additional targeting like household income, industry of employment and level of education.
Add More Value to Your Product
During an economic slowdown, customers have the advantage and can demand more for their money because demand is overall down. Try to anticipate their needs and desires as much as you can and add as much value to your product or service offering as possible. There are lots of ways to do this. You can offer tips or advice for how customers can best use your product, free consultations, free assessments or complimentary installations. You can also offer free content like whitepapers, ebooks, or podcasts. Another option is to create more educational content for your website or blog. By providing more information to your customers, you’ll engage them more deeply. They’ll have a reason to come back and spend more time on your site, which will help you turn them into repeat customers.
Harness Customer Reviews & Improve Customer Retention
Any customers you do bring through are valuable from three different perspectives:
- The revenue they generate from their initial transaction
- The revenue they generate by referring other customers to you and
- The revenue they bring through when they return for future transactions (lifetime value).
To make the most of all three channels, stay on top of your customer reviews and make sure you’re leveraging customer retention tools like appointment reminders, subscriptions, memberships and keeping your audience engaged through social media and email marketing.
The Bottom Line
Marketing and advertising are important aspects of running a successful business, no matter the economic environment. During a recession, marketers have to be even more frugal with their budgets and work extra hard to capture and retain customers who have no shortage of options as competitors fight for their attention and their business.