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Digital marketing to help weather the economic downturn

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Digital marketing to help weather the economic downturn

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Recent economic events are changing the business environment yet again, and it’s not getting any easier. After a long period of instability due to the pandemic and the invasion of the Ukraine, we’re being hit with a cost-of-living crisis and even more economic instability.

As business owners, what should we do to generate the growth we’re looking for during these difficult times?

We’re seeing 4 different responses to marketing in a recession:

  1. Companies are pulling their horns in, cutting staff and costs in the hope that they can weather the storm and reach better times. At times like this the marketing budget can seem like an easy saving and is often the first to go
  2. Others are continuing exactly as they were before, thinking that if they just carry on in the way they always have, trade will soon return to normal
  3. Some are spending more money on marketing, which seems to go against all our instincts!
  4. The final group are spending the same on marketing but changing what they’re spending it on.

Which group does your business fit in to?

The last 2 groups might just be on to something. Consider that to survive your business needs to make sales. If your marketing budget is cut, where are those sales going to come from? Consider too that if your competitors are cutting their marketing budget, now’s a great time to promote your brand.

If you can afford to increase marketing spend, you’re likely to see a higher return when there is less competition. How you spend your marketing budget, whether it has increased or remained the same is key in a recession. At times like these, firms who are willing to be what customers need in a crisis end up to keeping many of the new customers they get and cementing the loyalty of the customers they already had.

Current challenges require a new way of thinking and an understanding of the needs and concerns of your customers. A high proportion of them will feel anxiety or concern about the changes occurring around them. That’s a big opportunity to shift your marketing message and show support for what they are going through. Demonstrate on your website and in all your social media channels how your products and/or services can help them through tough times and your customers will thank you for it, by buying from you now and continuing when the recession has passed.

Top tips to survive and thrive in a recession:

  1. Don’t cut your marketing budget
    • Your company needs sales to survive

  2. Review your strategy
    • Plan your online marketing activity based on the issues your customers are currently facing
    • Be prepared to change the plan based on results and the changing business environment
    • If you can’t increase your budget, make sure you’re getting the most from it
    • Focus on your customers. Their problems have changed so how can you help them now?

  3. Strengthen your brand
    • Tell customers what you are doing to support them on social media and your website
    • Review your website, making sure there is helpful content for your customers to access

  4. Check the results!
    • Regularly check progress by looking at your analytics data to identity trends
    • Make adjustments to marketing activity and content based on the available data

Focusing on the needs of your customers is always a sound marketing strategy, but in a recession it matters even more. Companies who can hold their nerve and use their marketing budget to exploit opportunities in tough times are more likely to survive than those who carry on as normal or cut it completely.

Contact us to create a digital marketing plan to help your business survive in a difficult economic climate and continue to grow afterwards. Call Roz or Sophy on 01925 387040.

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