How to Market in a Recession

Understanding the shifts in consumer thinking and behavior will make the difference between profiting from this change or being a victim of ‘tight economic times’. There are a variety of behaviors that traditionally accompany downturns in the economy and turbulence in the business arena. We all hear about them, let’s review a few of the key points for a moment:

Decreased business profitability means higher instability for people’s jobs.
Increased costs results in people having less disposable income.
Fluctuating stock markets means people move to more secure investments and spending.
Business closures and layoffs increases reduces micro-economic (the local area) spending.
The first 3 things major areas businesses cut spending on are marketing, human resources, and staff.
How Do Consumers Behave During Tight Economic Times?
All of these points mean your marketing needs to change fairly significantly to reflect how consumers are thinking and behaving. Ignoring these factors means your advertising initiatives that worked great a year, or even 6 months ago, are less likely to get the results you previously enjoyed. The good news is that by adapting to the changes in the economy, and how your customers think, you may have the opportunity to maintain, retain, and grow your customer base over time.

Following are examples of how consumers buy and think during challenged economic times.

They still continue to spend, but they can take longer to make a purchase decision.
The need for value on any priced item increases due to the need to be reassured they are making the right choice.
There is less discretionary income so what matters most is purchased.
Brands that have established loyalty are trusted to do the right thing and continue providing value.
Many people seek to “cocoon” and make their home the center of their life and activities.
Impulse purchases are important because they provide an escape or self-indulgence during times of pressure.
Consumers may feel financial pressure but do not want overt messaging that shows them in this state.
Other consumers, usually lower income, need help, want help and look to those to overtly assist them.
Certain consumer segments continue to earn, and are in growth sectors, and make no changes in their spending habits.
How You Should Adapt Your Advertising
Regardless of which of the situations apply to your consumers, your messaging and tone should change. Failing to reflect where your target audience is at will mean a certain portion of your market will “tune you out”. This can be a significant factor in why you may see new traffic and purchases declining. Some strategies and tactics you should apply to correct this down trend are:

Take a big step back, look at your consumers, competitors, and market influencer’s from a totally fresh perspective.
Use whatever research is available to understand where your consumer needs and behaviors are at right now.
Regularly monitor how your customers are expressing their issues and concerns about their life in general.
Be a solution provider in a way your customers want. Be overt if they want it, or subtle if they prefer a more discreet approach.
Do be innovative and creative in helping consumers get even more use and value from what you offer.
Don’t use fear tactics in communication. It tarnishes your brand and degrades your perceived value and ethics.
If you refer to the economy, state it as a fact describe how you help or create value in relation to the current “challenge”.
Sell LOTS of value, but get ready to cut cost. In a market of limited demand, you want consumers demanding your goods.
Emphasize your stability and history so consumers are reassured you will be there for them in the future.
If you start a price war, be ready to hold out for at least 6 months. Don’t under price everything or you’ll go too far downmarket.
If you are in a price war, be ready to hold out for at least 6 months. Your competitors may run out of steam.
Never knock the competition directly; sell your value, and compare strengths of choices, give the customer a reason to come back.
Offer plenty of low cost ‘bonuses’ to increase the value of purchasing. Raise the perceived value for the same cost.
Create strategic alliances and cross-refer clients with non-competitive businesses to create an advantage your competition cannot duplicate.
Be ready to reinvent yourself. Your customers may be making life changes and you want to be ready to change with them.
Turning Concepts Into Execution
The list above will help your business gage sensitives with customers, competitors, and your potential future direction. Taking a big step back and going to your customers and listening through as many forms of research possible will help you quickly get a sense of where they are going. Once you have a clear picture, quickly transform the media you are using to reflect your relevant messages.

While this approach will require a great deal of energy, imagination, and resources the question to ask is, “if I keep going the same way I was going before but my customers are likely changing their direction, is it worth changing and adapting to survive and succeed?”

Using Network Marketing Strategies

One of the best ways to form new business contacts is through network marketing strategies. It allows you to meet people that can become potential clients or give you referrals. Although it often takes work, network marketing strategies may be the best way to get you new business.

When choosing a networking group, it is important to choose a group that will be in your target area. This ensures that the people that attend will not be an inconvenience when you are called to perform services for them. It also allows for you to target your efforts, as you can determine which of the people that you meet will want the services you provide. This can be more effective than a direct market campaign, as it allows you to make informed decisions on who receives your marketing.

It is important to try and make a good impression when you attend a marketing group. If you go in person, you need to use an official tone when introducing yourself. This allows you to form a professional relationship, which can serve to provide a business opportunity in the future. It will also make a person more comfortable if they want to refer a customer or a friend to you. Many people do not want to send friends or business associates to businesses that are not professional.

By using networking strategies, you can meet new customers. You have the ability to market directly to a customer base, rather than trying a blind marketing campaign. It is important to present yourself professionally, as this will be more convincing when trying to find new clients. For more information on direct mail check out offline arbitrage bonus.

Formulating Effective Marketing Strategies

Talent and skill is important in the world of business. So is knowledge.

These are the things that power the entrepreneur. However, you have to realize that these are not enough in order to achieve success. These things are important, but without direction, these are practically useless.

You need a plan in order to succeed in business. You need effective marketing strategies in order to put these factors into good use. You need effective marketing strategies in order to give these factors the direction they need to help you achieve success.

Formulating effective marketing strategies will help you conserve your resources and make efficient use of them. So what are the elements of effective marketing strategies?

1) Clear goal – You need to know exactly what you want to achieve. In planning a clear goal, you will also be planning a clear way to achieve it. In order to get from point A to point B, you need to have a clear idea where point B is. You need to concentrate your resources on achieving your goals the easiest way possible. By setting goals, you will be paving the way towards achieving that goal.

2) Resources – As said before, you need to make efficient use of whatever resources you have. This means making sure that those resources are used to their maximum potential. You need to make sure that nothing gets wasted in the achievement of your goal.

Every dollar spent and every effort made must have a purpose. Every resource spent must bring you one step closer to your desired goal. You must always keep in mind that resources are limited.

You need to try and use those resources in the best way possible. Your resources are your strengths. You should use your strengths in order to break down all barriers in front of you. Once you gain sight of your goal, you should make sure that your strength is directed towards that goal.

3) Negatives – Anticipating threats and taking account of weaknesses is a natural part of effective marketing strategies. When you take your positives into account, you should also think about the negatives. You need to make sure that you have an accurate sight of your situation. Overconfidence and pride is the most oft downfall of entrepreneurs. You need to think of the various events that could upset your journey to success. Considering the negatives will help you strengthen yourself and will help you adapt your strategy accordingly.

4) Methods – You need to know how to get from point A to point B. You need to see what methods you can use to carry you to the throne of success. You need to make sure that every method at your disposal is used. Remember, however, that might is not always right. Make sure that your means do not have to be justified by the ends. Intent is the best judge of what is ethical and what is not. Do not sight of yourself when you are eyeing your goal. An important part of effective marketing strategies is never forgetting your integrity.

These are just some of the elements of effective marketing strategies. You need to realize, however, that the most important part lies within you. What, for you, makes an effective marketing strategy? It is this individuality that acts as the key to implementing a strategy.