Knowing how to properly navigate the direction of a business during a recession can be a tricky proposition. Many companies panic, slashing budgets and laying off employees, doing more harm to their business than the recession itself. The ability to properly execute growth marketing during a recession is not an easy task but can be done with a few straightforward steps.
Check out the tips below for some advice on marketing during a recession from an agency that was founded during a recession.
Resist the Urge to Automatically Cut Your Growth Marketing Budget
It is easy to panic when news of a recession or general economic downturn hits the weekly news cycle, exemplified by the excessive amount of negativity that categorizes many news outlets. When the dreaded “R” word starts to be used, the response of many businesses is to make cuts in the marketing department (Recession Marketing, 2019). While marketing cuts may stabilize the profitability of a business in the short-term, the long-term health of the brand will often become damaged, sometimes beyond repair (Recession Marketing, 2019). Marketing can be the most valuable tool for a business during a recession, allowing the company to give its brand a look of strength and stability to consumers, putting them at ease and convincing them to continue to provide their support if possible.
Evaluate Your Customer Base
Companies that refocus their energies from the predictions in the news toward their customer base will be able to make the necessary adjustments to better serve their customers and maintain profitability during a recession. It is important for a company to closely evaluate the buyer personas of their customer base, determining what they value, whether their pain points have changed, how they are seeking comfort in this difficult time, and if the recession has created a new customer base (Mora, 2020). It is also vital to compile and track data of what customers are doing, utilizing tools such as Google Analytics to evaluate how trends are changing during the recession, and if the services and products offered need to be changed. This data-driven approach to marketing, known as growth marketing, will provide a blueprint for companies to lead their business during uncertain times.
Cut the Underperforming Customer Base
The idea of cutting part of a customer base during an economic downturn seems counterintuitive at best. Businesses should be seeking to maintain all their customers, right? Actually, no. Problem customers that do not pay on time and take disproportionate amounts of time for the employees of a business to deal with often cost that business more money than they are providing with their business. Ridding the company of these problem customers will give employees more time to focus on other aspects of the business and decrease the need for a company to hire more staff, saving significant amounts of money (Berson, 2020). Businesses can then focus on growth marketing methods to better serve customers that will generate much more profitability and value, and increase the strength and stability of the company.
Align Sales and Marketing
Interdepartmental unity, specifically unity between the sales and marketing departments is crucial at all times, especially during a recession. The sales department is the front line of the business, witnessing emerging trends as soon as they begin and observing the increase or decrease of revenues (Mora, 2020). Sales teams should inform the marketing team of what products and services are selling, giving the marketing team a clear direction to follow for a successful brand identity into the future.
Marketing is a company’s first line of defense against instability in its customer base. The success of a company’s operation during a recession depends on its ability to effectively cultivate growth marketing and sales enablement techniques to successfully direct the company amid uncertain times.
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