8 essential marketing tips to help survive a downturn

During a downturn it is vital for any business to fine tune their marketing activity to take into account changes in their customers’ behaviour and priorities so that performance is not undermined.

So often, a business will indiscriminately start to cut costs if they see a downturn in sales, but although clearly a time where containing costs is paramount, it is also the time to adjust and not cut marketing activity in response to changes in demand.

The psychology of marketing flips when there is a downturn. Boom periods drive sales, often with very little effort, as customers’ confidence, fuelled by high disposable income levels and a strong economy leads to higher consumption.

In a downturn, customer confidence is eroded and they become far more selective, price sensitive, and less brand loyal, which of course impacts and creates a new challenge for marketers.

Here are our 8 top marketing tips to help survive a downturn:

  • Focus on loyal customers: your loyal core customers are the backbone of your business, provide a lasting source of cash flow and offer an opportunity for organic growth. This is a time to build a stronger connection with them through social media.
  • Build and maintain your brand: a well known brand, that customers recognise and trust, is a powerful tool during a downturn and helps reduce risk.
  • Reinforce your core brand proposition: during a downturn consumers can be bombarded by brands who may have not previously had them in their sights. This is a time to remind your consumers how your brand satisfies them and push your advantage.
  • Track your customers: market research is the key to understanding how your customers are reassessing their priorities, budgets, and values. It is also essential to track consumers’ perceptions of ‘normal’ price levels during a period of change so you can remain affordable in perception.
  • Review where you spend your budget: now is the time to make your marketing budget work even harder as marketing during a downturn is always expected to do more with less.
  • Make the most of your online presence: a strong online presence is important at any point but during a downturn there is the added benefit of online being one of the most measurable and cost effective types of marketing.
  • Hone your SEO: the best online presence in the world is of no benefit if no one can find you. This might seem like an obvious one but we find it is one that is so often overlooked.
  • Measure everything: now is the time to know what is working and what is not instantly. Without staying on top of all your metrics you run the risk of wasting budget on activities that have very little impact.
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