When the economy is struggling, it’s not uncommon for businesses to react by cutting budgets and preparing themselves for slow growth as they pull back marketing efforts and wait for the economy to improve. Studies show that in a down economy, that over 50% of U.S. companies follow this method and is one of the first budgets to get slashed is the one organizations use to communicate with their customers and other significant parties; the marketing and advertising budget. As bad economic times cause consumers to be more selective and value oriented in their purchasing decisions, this strategy is shortsighted. It makes it difficult for customers to select, and trust, a company that curtails its communication with them and does not make an effort to stay top of mind. Proactive businesses want to keep the customer oriented and informed in order to present value to its customer base.
A Down Economy Can Be a Great Opportunity!
A down economy can be an opportunity for smart businesses to re-energize their marketing efforts and increase market share. Rather than cutting marketing budgets and limiting the ability to attract new prospects and customers, businesses can put their money into cost-efficient advertising that delivers growth opportunities and obtain a positive return on investment.
In a down economy, most businesses will decrease their market efforts. For most businesses, this translates into more competition for fewer viable prospects. Smart organizations will take advantage of the fact that even though there are fewer viable prospects in a down economy, because most companies have followed the pack and cut back their marketing budget there are fewer competitors who are actively marketing to them. Forward thinking companies often look at a downturn in the economy as a reason to re-evaluate their current customer relationships. For instance, a business that in the past marketed high-quality services or products at a higher price may need to find out if the same message works in a struggling economy. Perhaps longevity of the product, or long-term value might be a better message in such an environment.
Gain advantages by continuing to market to customers:
1. The Internet: This is an opportunity for more aggressive companies to purchase more market presence without increasing their advertising budget. Building an effective Web presence that incorporates online marketing techniques with search engine optimization is a great idea way in a slow economy. For example, such companies might direct money for their trade-show budget for online search engine marketing, and track their return on investment with Web analytic tools that can produce a variety of valuable data that lead to more sales
2. Competitors: As competition chooses to market and advertise less in a slow economy, their
core message is more likely not to be seen or heard, which leaves several opportunities to gain market presents and branding above your competitors.
3. Opportunity: A huge challenge for many small companies is developing a name for themselves. Because of the withdrawal in marketing and branding by competitors, a downturn in the economy can be the opportunity to accelerate such branding for smaller companies to gain market share.
4. Customers: During a down economy, customers become more selective, look for value, and are more likely to buy from businesses that they are familiar with. Businesses that work to stay visible will have an advantage so that their customers are confident that they’ll be there for them in the future.
In conclusion, businesses should be marketing both new potential clients as well your current existing clients at the same time. By ramping up your marketing efforts you have the potential to gain market share and stay viable in a down economy.