The COVID-induced recession has now turned from a possibility to a hard reality. While consumers are adjusting to the new normal during the pandemic, B2Bs are trying to figure out how to stay in business, operate, and recover. A very critical aspect of spelling this fight for survival and recovery is the need for a digital transformation of marketing and sales efforts.
In the face of a recession, businesses are immediately looking to cut costs to ensure financial discipline and generating funds to plug in the losses due to the diminishing demand. But, what we fail to realize is that companies curtailing marketing efforts during this period will actually end up jeopardizing their long-term market share by giving up space for more competition.
Thus it becomes paramount to ensure that we do not lose our market shares and even try to gain ground in these clamorous times. It thus becomes even more important to focus on marketing strategies.
Why is it important to do marketing in a recession
- Focusing on the long term
While recessions can be hard in the short-run, they allow for capitalization of the market share with many competitors opting to curtail their marketing budget and thus giving space for expansion.
2. Building a brand image
An important rule for a sustainable development model is to have a consistent brand image that drives sales. It is important for a brand image to exist so as to navigate more prospective customers towards the range of products being offered.
3. Maintaining customer loyalty
It is vital to have your client’s loyalty while the recession may reduce their spending capacity. Once the recession starts to subside, they might recover and your support may strengthen your image in the market as well.
4. Showcasing stability
Recessions are a distressing time for everyone. It thus becomes very important to give out a message of strength and leadership to convince clients that their belief in you is well-founded.
5. Increasing share of voice (SOV)
Sales are often driven by the share of voice in the market which allows the extraction of more prospective clients. The SOV exists on both online and offline mediums, making it vital to increase this on all platforms.
Ways to market during a recession
- Analyzing past campaign performance
Your marketing budget is limited so there is no room for error, and the only way to know what is working is to look at the past data and analytics.
The good news is that you can review performance data from marketing platforms to determine what you should reduce and what you should retain.
This helps you to make smart business decisions and assists you in discovering what your customers are looking out for and to provide them with the necessary solution thereafter.
2. Constant monitoring of the market scenario
Without any exception make sure to pay close attention to the responses, attitudes, and reactions to marketing campaigns, both with your business and broadly. This will assist you in identifying patterns, sentiments, and problems. You can then appeal to B2B’s while being on the same page and being able enough to meet their needs.
3. Changing the tone of marketing in accordance with the mood of the customer base
Emotions play an important role in decision-making during recessions, so you need to pay close attention to your tone to attract the right audience. You can still convey the same brand messaging and core values, but you need to conduct an audit to make sure anything potentially insensitive or controversial is withdrawn.
4. Focus on existing clients
Having a loyal customer base is your one true asset during a recession. It’s cheaper, simpler, and more effective to market your products to the existing clientele rather than focusing on efforts to win new ones.
5. Consistent branding
You need to be consistent with your branding and engagement with your audience. Developing a monthly plan of marketing strategies is essential for this, including a combination of blog posts, emails, and other PR content.
6. Lead nurturing
B2Bs often take months for the decision-making process and even longer during recessions. This needs to be contemplated whilst approaching leads and guiding them down the sales funnel. In addition to this, many of the leads who approach you might not be willing to make a purchase but can be nurtured for future purchases.
7. Email marketing
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing channels because it can build loyalty and trust for your brand efficiently.
Building a list of customers and prospects should be a priority for your business because you can use this information to speak directly to your customers. Ensure to send personalized emails and segment the email list based on the types of products, services, and demographics of customers.
8. Online presence through SEO
SEO is a long-term marketing strategy. By building a strong foundation and investing in smart SEO, the actual overall advertising costs can be lowered. SEO marketing is a valuable part of your company’s marketing strategy during a recession because it helps in positioning your company as a leader since customers go through the Buyer’s Journey.
9. Using ABMs
It is vital to be direct in your approach through Account-Based Marketing (ABM). It’s the concept of having the marketing and sales teams work together to see the businesses you’re targeting as partners and can be very useful during a recession. Refrain yourself from the assumption that just because you already possess a targeted audience and you have been involved with them previously – ABM is an extremely efficient and effective marketing tool.
Avoid curtailing marketing expenditure unless it threatens short-term survival. Ensure to focus on building a brand image and market to capture shares from falling competitors. It is necessary to draw recovery plans and constantly optimize the strategy to suit the constantly changing conditions in the market. And, most importantly to remember that companies like Kellog’s and Amazon came to the leading edge of their industries during the recessions of the 1920s and 2008, respectively. So, while the general market may be in the gloom during this period, it can also work as a golden opportunity to expand your market share and come to the forefront of your industry.