Marketing through a downturn

 |  Alex Cleanthous - Get more articles like this sent to your email here

Now might be the time to save costs… but while you’re slowing down, your competitors are gaining ground.

  • A recent study by McKinsey found that pessimism about the second half of 2022 is on par with the early months of the pandemic in 2020.
  • There are clouds on the horizon, we are navigating a lot of questions about how companies can adapt their marketing to prepare for what’s ahead.

Economic downturns are hard…

Consumers have less money, businesses pull back on their spending, and it’s the businesses that can adapt quickly that will continue to thrive during an economic downturn.

So it’s not going to be easy, but there are definitely things you can do to continue to drive performance during this time. It’s all about being proactive and taking aggressive action as quickly as possible.

With that being said, Alex Cleanthous Co-founder of Webprofits recommends these 5 areas to focus your marketing strategy on to get the most out of the second half of 2022:

#1: Make sure you’re solving problems that people need solved

Many of the most iconic brands in the world today were born out of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Uber, Slack, Instagram, WhatsApp, Groupon, Square and Pinterest all launched during this time. And yes, I know they’re software companies but they were all solving a problem for consumers.

So ask yourself if your products are solving problems that people need solved, and if they’re not, then consider reviewing how you can adjust what you sell so they do.

#2: Make it easier to do business with you

When things are going well, people have more disposable income to invest and they are less cost-conscious. But when things aren’t going as well, people start looking for ways they can save money while still getting what they want.

So can you lower your prices? Can you develop a loss-leader that helps new customers choose your company over your competitors’? Can you reduce risk by offering guarantees? How much more affordable can you make your products so that people choose your company over your competition?

#3: Look after your existing customers

The easiest, most valuable, and highest-return activity you can do is focus on your existing customers. They already know and trust your brand, they have spent money with you in the past, and they are the most likely to spend money with you again.

Who are your best customers? How can you improve their experience with you? Who are your most unhappy customers? What can you do to turn this around?

#4: Understand WHY customers do business with your company

This is the most important, yet hardest question to answer. You can’t get it from analytics, you can’t get it from web forms, you can’t get it from your CRM.

The only way to get this information is to interview the different segments of your customer database using Projective Techniques so you find out the REAL reason they buy.

#5: Understand which parts of your marketing are working and which are not

This is a lot easier with digital, but it applies to all of your marketing. One of the first things that companies pull back on during an economic downturn is marketing, which is par for the course. The issue is when you pull back on marketing that’s actually working.

So instead of pulling back on all of your marketing spend with the stroke of a pen, figure out what channels and tactics and deliver you results you can measure, double down on what’s working, and pause or reduce the rest. Just remember that when every other business pulls back on their marketing it makes it that much more affordable for you to advertise.

For Webprofits, we’re doing all of the above (and more) to ensure we’re prepared for what’s coming. Here are just a few of the things we’re doing to help our clients get every advantage they need to succeed with what’s ahead:

  • Leaning in to our Behavioural Marketing solution – where we help our clients understand why customers make decisions and how to position their messaging and offers to talk to the deep psychological triggers that drive action.
  • Expanding out our Customer Value Optimisation solution – where we work with ecommerce stores to extract more value from their highest value buyers, re-engage buyers that are about to go to a competitor, and maximise the ROI from digital advertising through advanced segmentation.
  • Refining our proprietary Digital Growth Framework – to focus on the channels and tactics that deliver the highest ROI and can drive growth more cost-effectively.
  • Streamlining our Strategy and Performance teams to deliver even more value for our clients at a more competitive rate.
  • Testing TikTok for brand building, lead generation and sales – as it is far more cost-effective than other forms of digital advertising and we see it as the next big opportunity for consumer brands.

Alex Cleanthous

Alex Cleanthous

Director of Strategy + Innovation at Webprofits
Alex Cleanthous is an entrepreneur, writer, technologist, and marketing leader. He is Co-Founder of Webprofits, Australia’s largest private digital consultancy. With more than 20 years experience in the digital space, Alex stays at the forefront of digital innovation, strategy, and execution identifying new markets, platforms, and tools to keep pace with the exponential expansion of technology.

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