As the CEO of a digital marketing agency, I understand the challenges businesses face during economic downturns [cos’, same gurl. #lol]. While it may be tempting to scale back marketing efforts, maintaining a strategic marketing presence is crucial for long-term success. In this blog post, I’ll explore effective marketing strategies to help you navigate this year’s economic downturn [and beyond], with a particular focus on the importance of continuing paid advertising activities in order to market your way through an economic downturn like a boss.
… and I don’t include that last part because I own a digital marketing agency that specialises in paid advertising [I promise], but instead because we’ve seen – time and time again – how brands snag much larger chunks of market share because they’re the businesses who keep their campaigns running while others “kneejerk react” and turn them off.
Assessing the situation
During an economic downturn, it’s essential to assess your business’s current standing and the impact of the downturn on your target market. For example, TDP did this throughout COVID and we quickly realised, “the impact on COVID has businesses scrambling to – very quickly – upskill in social media and digital marketing … and so we met them where their COVID-related needs were at, and thrived because of that assessment of our market”.
You’ll want to identify potential changes in consumer behavior, demand shifts, and areas where your products or services can provide value despite the challenging circumstances.
Understanding your market’s dynamics will help you tailor your marketing strategies accordingly, and this and this alone is the difference we’ve seen between brands who really crumble through economic shifts and downturns … and those who thrive.
Refine your value proposition
In uncertain times, customers seek reassurance and value. Because of this, you’ll wanna review and refine your value proposition to highlight how your business can solve their pain points and meet their needs effectively.
As marketing strategists, we really passionately push businesses to go beyond designing content to speak to their audience’s pain points– we encourage brands to consider what many forget to, which is pleasure points [that’s a blog post for another day] … but in an economic downturn? We say, go hard on those pain points. You’ll really want to emphasise your unique selling points that set you apart from competitors and position your brand as a trusted solution provider.
Focus on targeted messaging
Crafting targeted messages is vital to cut through the noise during an economic downturn. We personally do this [for ourselves, and the clients we represent] by analysing your customer segments and developing personalised marketing campaigns that speak directly to their concerns and aspirations.
The key thing here is to use empathetic and reassuring language in order to build trust and establish an emotional connection with your audience.
Bringing it back to TDP? This is what we did, so well, during the first economic shift[s] when COVID first hit … and we’ve been doing it ever since [and arguably, we’ve been doing this since TDP first began, tbh].
Leverage digital channels
Digital marketing offers cost-effective avenues to reach and engage with your target audience during an economic downturn.
Yes. We know. We’re biased. But it’s true.
You’ll want to enhance your online presence through search engine optimization [SEO] techniques, ensuring that your website ranks well on search engine results pages. Additionally, you’ll want to optimise your website’s content with relevant keywords related to your industry and target market, making it easier for potential customers to find you.
Harness the power of social media
This is where we come in, and my oh my, we come in strong.
Social media platforms provide an excellent opportunity to maintain brand visibility and engage with your audience during challenging times [for TDP, the way we engage with our audience throughout challenging times often becomes the best of times for our own business].
Action’y tip if you struggle here: go to Google and search ‘empathy canvas map’ because it is the best way to design content that speaks empathetically to your audience, and subsequently meets them where their needs are at [often without them even realising they had particular needs that weren’t being met until you showed up with that content, inspired by an empathy canvas map].
We recommend regularly sharing valuable content, industry insights, and updates that resonate with your target market. For happy side bonus good times? We encourage brands trying to gain user-generated content from their audiences, and most importantly? Fostering meaningful conversations to build a community around your brand.
Build strategic partnerships
Want to know the best, and nicest, way to market your way through an economic downturn? Collaborate with complementary businesses who can help expand your reach and strengthen your marketing efforts [and vice-versa].
Identify non-competing companies within your industry or related sectors and explore partnership opportunities. Joint marketing initiatives, cross-promotions, and co-hosted events can create win-win situations and boost brand exposure for both parties involved.
We passionately believe that it takes villages to raise businesses, so you better believe we lean into strategic partnerships whenever – and wherever – possible here at TDP.
Embrace paid advertising
While cutting costs may be a priority during an economic downturn, reducing or halting your paid advertising activities can have adverse effects on your business. Paid ads, such as Google Ads and social media advertising, enable you to target specific demographics, increase brand visibility, and generate qualified leads. By continuing to invest in paid ads, you maintain a competitive edge and maximise your chances of capturing market share.
… just like our clients have been doing [shots fired. #lol].
Want to learn more about our paid ads services via a zilch obligation phone chat with our Head of Strategy & Growth, Michelle? Head here and fill in a form where we’ll gather a heap’a’information about you > give you a most integrity-led chat where – quite often – we will honestly say, “no, you’re not ready yet” or “no, your website isn’t set up for conversions success no matter how effective our paid ads are” etc.