A downturn is a natural part of the business cycle.  In a slow economy, companies find that they must reduce costs to survive the lean periods.  One of the first budget items cut is marketing. Research suggests that when you cut marketing, there is a corresponding reduction in sales.  I would argue that a business continue marketing during slow times.  Think about this.  If your competitors have stopped their marketing campaigns, what better time is there to get your marketing message in front of potential clients?  This doesn’t mean you should go full steam marketing.  You need to focus your efforts and select cost effective marketing techniques.

Keep existing clients

Marketing during a downturn doesn’t have to be difficult.  Start with your existing clients.  Retaining current clients is a lot cheaper and easier than finding new clients.  Contact the clients that you have not heard from in a while. Ask them what they need most.  One way to reach multiple clients at once is to use a custom designed email campaign.  With the MailChimp email marketing platform, you can send 10,000 personalized emails to 2,000 clients per month for free.

Identify your target audience

Next, search for the type of client that best meets your business goals.  Creating personas is an excellent way of describing your target audience. With your target audience identified, produce advertising tailored for this audience.  Facebook ads is a very cost efficient method of reaching a selected demographic.  You can get very specific with Facebook ads and you control how much you want to spend.  A quality marketing effort will convert more leads when compared to an unfocussed shotgun approach.

Measure your efforts

Measure the results of your marketing.  Measure everything.  Use Google Analytics to record website visitors.  Review your website data regularly.  Determine where visitors come from (direct search, social media, referred from another site, advertising link, etc.). Understand visitor demographics.  Use A/B testing to determine your best marketing message and tailor your campaign accordingly.  Update your website landing pages to echo the results of your testing.  The metrics will let you know what works best for your company.  Once you discover which methods provide the greatest ROI, do more of it.

Protect your brand

During a downturn, you may experience longer sales cycles.  This does not mean that people aren’t buying.  It just takes longer for them to make the buying decision.  Clients will spend more time researching products and services looking for value.  The key is to show how valuable your products and services are by keeping your message in front of them.  Following these tips, make your marketing efforts more efficient and you will be better poised to capitalize on your efforts when the economy starts improving.  Keep your brand strong during an economic downturn with effective and focused marketing.

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