While there’s still a lot we don’t know about how much COVID-19 will impact the economy, it’s safe to say that changes are already being seen around the globe. Shelter in place and government-mandated lockdowns are preventing people from going out and spending, impacting a variety of industries as consumers become fearful of the future. The U.S. has a strong economy, and the GDP grew 2.1 percent in the last quarter. However, most economic experts agree that a global recession is likely.
In uncertain times, it might be tempting for marketers to press pause on campaigns; however, this might not be the best tactic.
Here are a few things to consider when marketing in advance of a recession:
- Don’t cut your budget
Cutting your marketing budget may be your knee-jerk reaction, but it might be wise to reconsider. Instead, take a deep dive into your spend to determine where you’re getting the best ROI. If something isn’t performing, decide if it’s the creative or the platform and choose what to cut from there.
As some brands inevitably will cut budgets, platforms will need to entice them back with lower marketing rates. If you already have a budget set aside for marketing, you’ll be able to take advantage of these deals much more quickly. Finally, if other businesses are cutting back, that means fewer competitors on the market, and a chance to stand out more than ever. If you do decide to cut your budget completely, you run the risk of being forgotten by your target. You want to make sure that your brand is top-of-mind, so that when they do make a purchase decision it’s YOU!
- Conduct research
Different products with varied target markets will need to shift marketing gears in different ways. A big part of determining how to move forward is analyzing how your target market reacts during a recession. Will your target be shy to spend, and seek out only products and services that they perceive as adding significant value? Is your target part of a wealth pocket that won’t feel the effects as much and will continue to spend close to their usual pattern? You need to know! This will help you determine your messaging moving forward.
- Update your messaging
Your product won’t be changing, but your messaging might need a refresh. How can you show additional value to your consumer? Especially for those target markets that will only be spending on select items, you need to make sure that your messaging highlights the benefits of your product and emphasizes value. Using the same old message might leave your brand on the chopping block.
A recession doesn’t mean stop
While uncertainty still swirls around how much of an impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the global economy, brands should take a breath before deciding to completely stop all marketing efforts. A brand that can maximize ROI, stay in the marketing mix, learn how their target market will respond and update their messaging will still find benefit in maintaining a marketing presence.