It is no secret that times are tough. Driving through local shopping centers, the “for lease” signs look to be contagious. But as a business owner, this is not the time to put your tail between your legs and slink away. This is the time to focus on your marketing budget and position your company for future prosperity.
In a study of U.S. recessions, McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 companies from 1980 to 1985. The results showed that firms that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth than those that eliminated or decreased their advertising. This increased growth not only occurred during the recession, but continued for the following three years. By 1985, sales of companies that were aggressive recession advertisers had risen 256 percent over those that didn’t keep up their advertising!
5 Tips for staying on top:
1. Maintain marketing budget making sure efforts include high value and high impact non-advertising venues such as public relations, word of mouth, and social media. Consider direct marketing which gives more immediate sales impact.
2. Market to your target audience. Spending money to sell to people to who don’t need your product is poor budgeting.
3. Keep in mind that customers will be shopping for the best deals and in tough times, price cuts offer a bigger draw than promotions.
4. Consumers want to count on the reliability, safety, durability, and performance of products so stay away from gimmicks and flowery messages. Look to empower consumers to make good choices based on value rather than price.
5. Be innovative. For example, run a competition to win advertising space on your site. You are marketing your website in a way that is free for you but valuable for others. Or add your website’s URL to the signature of each email account (personal or business) you use, so it appears on every email you send.
What it comes down to is that successful companies do not abandon their marketing strategies in a recession; they refine and adapt them. What are you doing to adapt?