There is no hiding from the headlines. Inflation is on the rise. Real estate prices are skyrocketing. Global supply chains are strained from logistics challenges and rising prices. Labor shortages are disrupting productivity. The U.S. economy is predicted to go into some level of recession in the relatively near future. Oh, and somehow the pandemic is still lurking in the background.
Even though the news can be discouraging, the fact remains that many businesses survive, maintain and even thrive during tumultuous times. There are some tried and tested marketing strategies that can be rolled out to ensure that your time and money are optimized more than ever as the external stakes get higher.
6 Marketing Priorities To Focus On Right Now
Keep your current customers happy.
This seems like an obvious statement, doesn’t it? But we, as entrepreneurs, disrupters and A-personalities, sometimes get so caught up in the chasing of new prospects that we leave money on the table in a variety of ways. When we know that it’s easier to optimize our relationship with our current customers than gain new ones. This is especially important when budgets get stretched thin due to recession or any other reason they might get stretched.
Here are some tips:
- Keep them happy. A bad customer experience is always something to avoid, but the stakes are higher when confidence in the economy is lower. Don’t make them question their investment.
- Optimize the relationship. Are you marketing to prospects but not leaning into repeat business opportunities? Are you missing cross-selling or upselling chances with your loyal customers? Just don’t do that!
- Acknowledge their pain points. If things get extremely dicey, it might be time to step up the promotional offers. Sometimes business owners are reluctant to have a sale price on their product or service, but they haven’t calculated that the discount is still less than the acquisition cost of a new customer. (And, nothing from nothing does equal nothing.)
Look for automation to help raise conversion rates.
Do you have bottlenecks in your sales and marketing funnels that automation tools could streamline for you? The email or social channels are great places to look for drop-offs and assess whether automated follow-up could improve conversions as well as customer experience (see #1).
Measure everything you do.
This is critical to marketing, no matter what the economic outlook is. When things are tight, however, it is essential that you are spending time and resources on the things that bring tangible results. When a new initiative is introduced, it should always have a measurable objective. By the way, what are your objectives?
Optimize your content efforts.
Before launching into new content, make sure you get the most out of the content you have. A blog post with six tips (much like this one) could garner at least seven social media posts. A flyer that was created for a tradeshow could be a lead generation tool for a new landing page too. A replay of a webinar could be a perfect showcase on your LinkedIn profile. And, etc, etc, etc – optimizing content not only is frugal but it creates an omnichannel marketing approach that is likely to bring better results than a “one and done” campaign.
Avoid vanity metrics and hunches.
While marketing consultants generally recommend that a percentage of your marketing efforts be experimental, now might be the time to reel those efforts in slightly or altogether. Vanity metrics that make the C-Suite or investor smile might be better placed on hold unless they bring tangible results. (See tips #3.) During a financial downturn, it might also be better to shy away from hunches, unless the expenditure can be projected and measured to be worth the risk.
Know your marketplace.
Just because the economy is nearing (or already in a recession) does not mean that all businesses will suffer. Some thrive in a recession. Some businesses find new revenue streams, new products or services to offer, and innovative ways to ride out the downturn. By understanding your core competencies, your customer avatar, and keeping a close eye on competitive developments, you just might find a new path to supplement the way you’ve always done things.
At Jackie Awve Marketing and Design, we are laser-focused on optimizing marketing spend and prioritizing marketing resources, no matter what the economic outlook is. We work with our customers to understand their goals, their industry, and their customers’ journey. Strategy without measurable results is not in our vocabulary!
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