How to adapt your marketing strategy and tactics for an economic downturn

COVID-19 reshaped our world and economy in fundamental ways. Business leaders and marketers around the world have been analyzing how to best position themselves, their products, and their services to not only survive but also emerge stronger.

Fear and uncertainty are common reactions to the prospect of a financial crisis. Research shows that 14% of businesses actually increase growth and margins during recessions. You can still achieve smart, strategic wins if you change your message and focus on the right industries.

As we continue to face economic challenges, I would like to share with you four marketing strategies that can help your business and yourself improve sales and marketing during a recession.

Identify the most important elements of your new strategy for marketing and tactics.

It’s not just business as usual. Understanding how the economic downturn affects your business and your customers is crucial.

To do this, you must put aside the noise and focus on your key issues. You should also identify your top priorities. Then, build new strategies that are based on how your industry and the sectors where you sell and your customers will be affected.

It would be best if you also did your homework. Study peer and industry research to assess the impact of the pandemic. Do not second-guess your customers. Instead, talk to them so you can understand their problems and emerging scenarios.

You should speak to at least 20 customers to verify (or refute) your initial hypothesis. Interviews should also provide you with ideas for future travel directions.

Create a list with the following information:

  • How to cut costs without sacrificing muscle mass in your business
  • Where can you improve your operational strength while still releasing cash?
  • How can you increase your revenue and strengthen your customer base at the same time?
  • What are your customers’ desired outcomes? How can you use data and insights to make them resonate with your business decisions?

The order in which imperatives are given priority will vary from one industry or business to the next.

Rethinking your product and target audience

After you gain perspective by prioritizing imperatives, you need to rethink your sales, marketing, positioning of the product or service, and who you are targeting.

Focus on your customer’s business goals and how your product will help them achieve them. Sell a result-based product rather than a features-based one.

Refuse to repeat what you’ve always done.

Consider which industries will be the least affected by this pandemic economic recession. This could influence how you approach the market. If your product is highly technical, could you reach out to business decision-makers instead of IT managers to explain how your product can help them achieve operational efficiency?

In a recession, smaller companies are more likely to be moving faster than larger ones. So, rethink who you’re targeting.

Make sure the results you target are specific to your industry. Manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare all have different outcomes.

Reframe your story using corresponding tactics.

You can’t tell the same story as you did before the pandemic. Think about what you’ve learned and how to use it to help you position yourself and reach out effectively to your customers.

Be positive and empathetic. Be prepared to see the long term. It would be best if you found the balance between being overly eager and expressing too much fear. It may be necessary to reduce the intensity of your message.

Be authentic and emphasize the positive impact your products or services have on your customers, especially how they help them achieve their desired outcomes. The messaging you used in 2019 will not be relevant in 2021.

Also, I recommend acknowledging your pain. Recognize your customer’s situation and use it to help you become stronger. Offer them a solution to help them prepare for growth and, most importantly, stay ahead of the competition.

Show how your product will help your client stay ahead of their competition.

Focus on digital marketing strategies and tactics to drive demand and close the sale

It’s a good idea to review how you run your business. In-person interaction is no longer as important, and you should embrace the fact that digital media has become the primary medium for conducting business.

Examine how you can extend the capabilities of your – technology and find new ways to engage your audience. This means you need to think about your marketing strategy and how your sales pipeline is filled.

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