The marketing playbook doesn’t have to be abandoned in an economic downturn. Here are some ways to strengthen it.
When a market downturn happens, it can be difficult not to act quickly, reactively and instinctively. With the threat of lower demand, your enterprise’s growth and stability may feel threatened, while insecurity may cause tremors amongst your staff.
Choosing the best course of action during a market downturn is essential and can dictate the future of your company. This is why a knee-jerk reaction — even if caused by valid concerns — can be dangerous. It can cause missed opportunities and a decline in overall quality.
The truth is that market downturns can provide opportunities to explore other sources of revenue, enhance the skills of your team, and enhance your brand image.
This can only be done if enterprises choose to make sustainable choices that encourage long-term growth and consistency over perceived short-term security. From messaging and marketing to recruitment and partnerships, sustainable business practices during a downturn can provide help to secure assets and continue growth in a time when competitors are struggling.
Prioritize Consistent Marketing Practices
Consistent marketing practices during a downturn creates trust. It ensures that throughout struggling climates and beyond, brand awareness isn’t lost or dropped, and your audience remain aware of your solution or service. For new and existing clients, consistent marketing also demonstrates that your enterprise is secure, trustworthy and stable.
If marketing funding is decreased or reduced, consider the most effective low-cost ways to encourage awareness.
Highly aggressive SEO content will perform well during a market downturn, benefitting from a focus on consistent posts to boost ranking, and supported by social media to encourage engagement.
With recent findings suggesting that just under 40% of readers will click on the first organic SERP result, improving your visibility during a volatile time should be a marketing priority.
Moz discovered that the “first page of Google captures 71% of search traffic clicks and has been reported to be as high as 92% in recent years.”
However, you should equally keep your brand positioning, tone and messaging consistent during downturns, even though this is a time of disruption.
Remain Authentic in Messaging
Market downturns can be a tremendous source of anxiety and worry for industries and the general public — your messaging needs to change to reflect this.
The keyword here is authenticity. Audiences might not react to messaging in the same way during a downturn, and brands that are seen as inauthentic and superficial will be quickly shunned. Auditing any content being produced can ensure that nothing potentially controversial or insensitive is shared. It can also help to retain existing customers and increase brand loyalty while remaining viable for new markets.
Remaining authentic in messaging will involve a shift in tone to adapt to the needs of a changing market. It should prioritize empathy, resilience and trust wherever possible. Demonstrate that you truly understand the worries of your customers and prospects and evaluate CTAs to ensure that they reflect this new tone from an intent rooted in genuine care.
Consider Cross-Skilling Your Staff
Your teams may experience a lack of confidence over security fears and financial concerns during a market downturn and period of low intake.
Take advantage of periods of lower demand by focusing on cross-skilling current team members or introducing mentoring programs. This can alleviate anxieties by demonstrating that your teams continue to be a priority for an enterprise.
A downturn may threaten markets and growth in both the short and long-term, with uncertainty over its length another source of worry. With a more proficient, skilled and confident team, your enterprise will be as equipped as possible to tackle the ongoing storm.
Additionally, if markets resume, your team will be more prepared for the emerging challenges of a changing market.
Related Article: Top Marketing Skills and Traits for 2022
Seek Collaborative Opportunities
During periods of slow growth and challenges, seeking collaborative opportunities can bring a wide range of benefits to both parties. By demonstrating your ability, confidence and eagerness to work alongside other businesses, enterprises can effectively boost industry presence and image.
What’s more, collaboration through guest blogs and joint marketing can effectively double your audience, getting your message out to more prospects than ever.
With well-forged partnerships and collaborative opportunities, you can also disperse the risk among your partners, meaning your business is more likely to weather the storm.
Conclusion: Sustainability and Market Changes
It’s impossible to predict how a market downturn may affect your enterprise. With so many critical components all affected by disruption, anxieties and more, it can often be difficult to find the best foot forward.
However, by avoiding a knee-jerk reaction in favor of sustainable and consistent practices, enterprises can use this time to source new opportunities, improve the skillsets of their staff, boost brand image, develop trust and much more.
Following these sustainable practices will also ensure that, as the market changes, your business is in the best possible position to hit the ground running, rather than spending vital budget, time and resource reaffirming a lost brand presence.