The old school reactions of downsizing activities in a slowing economy may not always be the best move.
With our current knowledge and technology, experts recommend increasing your marketing with new strategies to fit the climate. Remember, marketing is an investment for future business and sales growth – you only get if you put in.
Playing To Win
1. Re-align your offering and business strategy with the changes in consumer behaviour and needs. An easy example would be with fuel efficient cars – if the pitch was environmental friendliness, it now switches to savings on fuel costs.
2. As competitors consolidate activities, they may leave some customers stranded. Marketing to such potential customers enables you to seize market share.
3. In such uncertain times, it’s important that you’re business is seen as reliable and stable. For example, with the impact of the economic downturn in the US in early 2000 and the 911 attacks, the food industry suffered a harsh blow. According to Tera Johnson from Chrysalis, those companies with weaker brands could not sustain profits whilst the stronger players were able to increase their pricing.
4. How you spend your budget should focus heavily on maximizing return on investment. Thus, there’s likely to be a greater shift towards online marketing initiatives. Online marketing offers many benefits over traditional including greater reach, only paying for targets you do reach (ie. pay per click advertising) and easily tracking results through Google Analytics.
5. The tough times ahead will create difficulty getting new sales, so keeping your cash cow customers should be a key marketing strategy. Protect your own backyard by keeping your high value customers loyal. You should start by isolating which 20% of your customers bring in 80% of your income? Then look at how you may get repeat business from the 20%.
6. Simultaneously, you may wish to aim for the low hanging fruit by adopting the strategy of more sales at lower per unit value.
7. When aiming for the quick and easy sale, there’s no need to immediately start discounting. This frantic act only serves to create price wars, diminish your brand (which you’ve probably spent many years and dollars to develop) and will set a false market expectation. A better approach would be to source and offer a cheaper alternative. This also enables you to capture market share at multiple points (ie. high, middle and low prices).