Marketing in a Recession
Top Tips to Save You Money AND Promote Your Business
You’ve survived the pandemic, you fought hard to get back on track, sales were on the up … but along came the cost of living crisis, with extra increasing prices and a recession just around the corner.
Now is the time to review your business outgoings and start cutting costs. And reducing your marketing spend is a good place to start right?
The traditional view of marketing was that it wasn’t an essential part of your business – like sales or accounting – it was more of a ‘nice to have’, which made it one of the first areas to be sacrificed when times are tough.
However, those businesses that view marketing as an investment – and not a cost – and make efforts to maintain it, will find themselves in a much stronger position when the economy starts to recover.
Put simply, switching off your marketing activity might help balance the books in the short term, but it could negatively impact your business in the long term. You’ve worked hard to build your brand, reputation and customer base – stopping your marketing spending could undo much of this work, making it more difficult and expensive to regain your position when things start to pick up. In addition, if your competitors continue to invest in their marketing whilst you don’t, you may find yourself losing market share that you will struggle to regain.
Of course, it is important to be practical. If your revenue is down, you should make adjustments accordingly, however, stopping all marketing activity could be a mistake.
So how can you continue communicating with your customers during a cost of living crisis?
Here are Citizen’s top tips for marketing during a recession:
- Stay in Touch
- Don’t be tempted to stop communicating with your existing customers for fear of appearing too pushy. They may be worried about their own business or be worried about yours … reassure them that you are here for them. Stay in touch with regular emails and newsletters. Companies will remember the good service they received during tough times.
- It’s Ok to Keep Selling
- Some businesses may feel reluctant to push their services or products when times are hard – but it’s ok to keep selling. Your customers may be dependent upon you, and you should aim to provide a consistent service. And don’t assume everyone is struggling – many companies pivoted into new markets in the pandemic, so there may be opportunities for new business out there.
- Social Media is Your Friend
- Social media is a great, cost-effective way to maintain brand awareness. Even if you do reduce your digital or traditional advertising, you should still post regular updates to your clients and prospects on social media so you remain front of mind. All that it costs is your time.
- And if you’ve never used social media before … now could be a good time to start!
- Be Sensitive to What is Happening Around You
- If you are one of the few businesses unaffected by the rising cost of living, that’s great – but be mindful of others less fortunate. Is there anything you could do to help others? Perhaps a special discount aimed at those who are struggling, food drives to support your local food bank or regular blogs offering free advice or hints and tips for consumers. Not only will it help your brand reputation – it will make you feel good too!
- Keep Up Internal Communications
- It’s not just your customers who may be feeling vulnerable .. your staff may be too. They will be worried about rising costs and may feel unsure about their job prospects. Regularly communicating with them will help them feel more secure and hopefully improve workplace morale. When the market bounces back, employers who treat their employees well will be rewarded with increased loyalty and engagement.
- Necessity is the Mother of Invention
- It might be difficult, but try not to focus on the negative news and media – many successful companies have developed new products or services in periods of adversity. Even if this isn’t possible, you could use downtime to review your marketing strategy. Consider what is working and what isn’t, how can you get in front of your dream client and what new channels and activities you could focus on.
- Seek out Free Resources
- There are some great free resources out there to help you with your marketing. Design applications such as Canva provide free templates to create professional-looking graphics and social media posts. Social media scheduling tools such as HootSuite and Buffer have free packages to help you organise your posts and schedules. Email marketing applications, like Mailchimp, have free options to help you implement impactful email campaigns.
- Support is Always Available
- If you are unsure which direction to take in your marketing strategy, give us a call. Our experts are here to provide you with specialist advice, whatever your query.
- In addition, we are proud to work with the Worcestershire Growth Hub providing fully funded specialist marketing advice to eligible businesses in the area. So, if you are a business based in Worcestershire seeking support please visit https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20278/support_for_businesses or contact the Worcestershire Growth Hub and their business advisors will be happy to speak to you.