Focused Marketing Tactics in an Economic Downturn: Make the most of your marketing budget… even in a bad economy.
There’s no shortage of opinions regarding what the economy holds for us in the coming months. While pundits joust over how “recession” is defined, what matters in real terms is what’s happening to your bottom line. Your focus right now is tightening the budget while maximizing profits. That’s difficult to achieve but there are ways to apply focused marketing tactics in a down economy.
Studies are revealing that Main Street businesses, possibly like yours, should expect struggles ahead. Veem, a global payments platform, released a survey of US and Canadian small businesses. Their study focused on how proprietors think about looming macroeconomic headwinds. Respondents—89% of which are businesses reporting fewer than 40 employees—are greatly concerned about the near-term economic environment and the weight of inflation and interest rates.
These findings square with a similar report from Goldman Sachs. Their commissioned survey found that 78% of small business owners believe the economy is in decline, with 65% of business owners indicating that recent market trends have forced them to increase prices on goods and services.
You need a strategic marketing plan.
In the face of economic uncertainty, small businesses have several defense mechanisms at their disposal, though unfortunately, decision-makers often erroneously cut vital services with long-term ramifications. One such mistake is when businesses cut their marketing efforts, thus limiting growth potential.
The relationship between small business owners and their marketing budget is shaky at best, even during the good times. Main Street merchants are eager to set aside outreach campaigns when the economy slows. This idea is a trap; you need focused marketing tactics.
Marketing is not just advertising your products and services; it’s a fundamental tool for increasing engagement with your customers. Your marketing plan is a means to understanding what your customers want and how you can meet their demands.
There are many benefits to a marketing plan.
Your marketing plan is an organized way to spend money that in turn will hopefully attract customers. Moreover, the process of devising a marketing plan gives rise to necessary introspection as you seek to establish your brand positioning in the marketplace. What do you currently offer and what should you be offering? These foundational self-analyses are part of an effective outreach campaign AND sharpening your vision for your company.
Employing focused marketing tactics ensures that everyone on your team is on the same page. It prevents wasteful spending, both in time and money. Your financial budget will be set, and you won’t waste time looking into other marketing efforts. With a set plan, you are free to focus on other areas of your business.
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Cutting your marketing budget is counteractive. Instead, employ focused marketing tactics.
Slashing the marketing budget when you need it most is a step in the wrong direction, not just for today but tomorrow. Don’t forget that a competitor is out there growing. Some businesses grew (thrived even) during the Great Recession just over a decade ago, and fortunes were made during the Dot Com bust before that.
A declining economy is not a death sentence for your business; it’s a reminder to be more strategic.
Consider these focused marketing tactics:
- Analyse your current plan. If possible, track results of individual campaigns.
- Reassign funds. If a particular campaign isn’t producing, eliminate it and apply those funds to a better producing marketing stream.
- Negotiate with vendors. Everything is up for negotiation, even with your marketing dollars! Discuss options with your current vendors. Reworking contracts might be an option, especially if you have developed a good working relationship.
- Seek FREE advertising. Believe it or not, there are free or affordable ways to market your business. Customer reviews, for example, can be free. Simply ask your customers to leave a review for your business. Need tips for getting more great reviews? Read this.
- Reduce; don’t eliminate. As a last resort, reduce your budget. Refrain from completely eliminating your marketing plan. As mentioned above, this can have detrimental lasting effects.
An effective marketing campaign does not require new staff. After all, finding the right talent is hard enough for any business in the modern economy, not to mention the cost. There’s an alternative, however.
Perhaps the best focused marketing tactic we can mention is to partner with Kellum Creek Business Solutions.
We offer a comprehensive suite of marketing services to fuel your company’s growth. Collaborate with us to sharpen your online presence through website design, hosting, and social media posts. Skip the sky-high cost of a new hire and let us build and execute a campaign for you.
Not ready for an all-out blitz? We offer plans both large and small, and we can cater to your budget. Don’t fall behind by eliminating your marketing efforts.
In an economic slowdown, your business will need MORE visibility—not less. Kellum Creek Business Solutions can help you solidify your position in the marketplace, equipping you for whatever road lies ahead. Reach out to us today at 865.286.5285 or email us at email@example.com.