This may sound biased coming from a decade-long marketer, but here is why you should continue strategically marketing during a recession.
During times of recession, many advertisers tend to decrease marketing budgets and consumers become more strict with their spending. As sales begin to drop, businesses will often cut costs, drop prices, and put new ventures on hold to wait out the storm. Marketing-related costs (research/ branding) can often be cut across entire companies, but aimless actions such as these are often a mistake.
Although it’s wise to help reduce costs, failure to support your brand, or look critically at core customers’ ever-changing needs can hinder performance over time. Medium-sized companies with strong brand presence (for example Mailchimp) tend to sustain recessions better than larger companies with poor brand recall. It can also be an opportunity to steal market share from larger competitors that have put a freeze on marketing budgets.
Organizations taking a closer look at customer preferences should use a critical eye, rather than a glance, to review their marketing initiatives. They should change up strategies and tactic mixes, as well as evaluate product innovation in response to market changes. Other strategies companies use to acquire new customers are:
Doubling down on unique audience reach
Unique reach is a deduplicated metric, meaning it offers an indicator of the number of individuals reached by your ads. During difficult times, you want to broaden your audience reach as much as possible. It is essential to understand if you’re increasing reach or targeting the same audience over and over (frequency).
Define your audience
Traditional demographics may not be specific enough to identify your core target audience. You should look to augment those data sets with psychographics, behavioral, purchase-based, and media consumption information.
Being fluid with ad budgets
To continue to reach an audience that is rapidly changing, especially during times of recession, marketers should leverage in-flight metrics as well as own their marketing performance data.
By understanding your core consumers’ customer journey, a recession can be an opportunity to effectively reach them using a thoughtful, but flexible marketing plan. Customers reassess priorities, switch brands, reallocate funds, and refine personal preferences. As unexpected changes to our global marketplace continue to manifest, a continuation of market research is essential.
At Brkthru, we listen to challenges, questions, and concerns such as a pending recession, and bring solutions. Problem-solving excites us.
For more on the subject of advertising amidst economic unrest, read this related article written by Karen Cuce “In Good (Economic) Times and Bad, We Believe in CTV.”