Recession Marketing

April 24, 2020 5:04 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

the vision must connect on a level higher than just a product. An astute marketer knows the value of the story and the promise behind it. A judicious marketer knows that branding is not something that can be done when the “to-do-list” dwindles down. It is “job one” today, tomorrow, next month, and next year. Brand complacency = hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) in missed opportunities.

 A good brand shapes your thinking, the morale of your employees, and customers’ impressions of your organization.              

Every marketer worth their weight in salt knows that a strong brand is essential for:

• creating value thru the brand promise
• maintaining focus on the corporation’s market position
• defining the organization’s personality
• establishing recognition
• differentiating the company from its competition
• authentically building trust, credibility, and integrity
• embodying corporate culture

So in February of this year, the economy was on cruise-control, the stock market was soaring to record highs, and unemployment had dipped to record lows. Life was good. Then pretty much overnight, a self-replicating molecule brought the world to its knees. The economy has come to a screeching halt and unemployment is reaching highs not seen since the Great Depression. Travel bans, stay-at-home orders, and layoffs have greatly reduced commerce and spending. Who saw this coming?

If you’re responsible for marketing your company, what do you do now?

Historically, as sales start to drop, businesses cut spending and halt new investments. Marketing budgets are often the first line-item slashed. While it’s smart to control recession spending, blindly slamming on the marketing brakes, before understanding the recession psychology of your customer, is often a huge mistake. Yes, consumer buying habits are sure to change. “Change”…but not stop. During these times, the wiser marketer can often flourish by adjusting strategies and tactics in response to these changing habits. And these same companies will be in a much better position as these economic woes begin to ease. 

Recession customers are likely found in one of these four groups:

The Panic Group is the hardest hit finan­cially. This group greatly reduces all types of spending.

The Concerned Group has reservations about the near-term but remains positive about the long-term. They reduce spending, but not to the extent of the Panic Group. If things continue to deteriorate, their spending cuts become more aggressive. 

The Young & Dumb Group is not concerned about savings. They would rather live for the moment than plan for the future. Spending will not change unless they lose their job. 

5%’er Group is secure in its position to ride out the storm. Their spending habits rarely change.

During recessions, the price often becomes more important than brand loyalty, so it becomes of greater importance to remember your loyal customer. Under these conditions marketing isn’t optional – it’s essential for maintaining your cash flow. While businesses need to identify essential and nonessential spending, maintaining a strong brand is mission-critical. Building and maintaining a strong brand is one of the best ways to reduce risk. 

While flexibility in strategies and tactics is important during these times, slashing marketing is a sure way to signal panic to your customers. Companies who take steps to ensure the brand promise remains strong, also reassures the brand loyal, that they’ve made the right choice. Remember, if you want the clear tones of the flute to be heard, you continue to play when the rest of the orchestra becomes silent.

The prudent marketer:

• understands reces­sion psychology• knows the buying audience and adjusts their strategies and tactics accordingly
• remains true to the brand promise, yet nimble to quickly attack a bad economy 
• knows marketing is not an “option,” but is essential to weathering the storm
• reduces corporate risk by building a strong brand during the good times, and maintaining them when times get bad

If you need assistance with your marketing communications during these troubled times, please consider Core to our strengths is the simplicity of the message, truth in advertising, repetition, consistency, and controlled disruption.

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This post was written by melanie

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