With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the economy is in the midst of a historic downturn. Many economists believe we’re on our way to a recession.
As digital marketers ourselves, we know it’s difficult to make headway in times like these. Consumer spending is down, traffic is dwindling, and unless you’re selling essential goods or services, conversions are harder to come by.
We know that for businesses and their marketers, now is not the time to run. It’s time to fortify your efforts and show your customers that you are holding steady. With that in mind, we’re here to offer some advice to restrategize your marketing efforts with offensive and defensive marketing strategies to make it through these tough times.
Offensive Marketing Strategies
When multiple companies offer similar products, each company is vying for a percentage of all sales of that product, known as its “market share.” In order to grow their businesses, companies will try to take sales away from a competitor’s market share and bring it to their own. These efforts constitute an offensive marketing plan.
As it relates to an economic downturn, we’ve put together some tips for offensive marketing strategies to help you make the best of a bad situation.
Be Careful Cutting Your Marketing Budget
When the market starts to crash, businesses typically look to their marketing departments as one of the first places to save money. Don’t fall into this mindset. Research shows that cutting the marketing budget during a downturn only helps in the immediate short term.
Eventually, the market will recover, and companies that carefully maintained their marketing efforts emerge stronger and more profitable than those that gutted their marketing budgets. Now is not the time to panic. If your competitors are spending less, you’ll be in a better position to overtake them when things recover. If they aren’t cutting their spending, you’ll lose ground fast.
Reallocate Paid-Ad Funds
While deciding where to cut costs, it’s important to analyze what’s working and what’s not. For paid ads, you’ll want to see which ads are gaining the most impressions, generating the most traffic or leading to the highest rate of conversions.
Once you have these picked out, you’ll want to suspend your less successful campaigns and redistribute those ad dollars into your more successful ads. With more people working from home, you may see more success with social media ads than you normally would. Keep a close eye on all platforms to see where the most activity is and manage your campaigns accordingly.
Create a Content Calendar
Content is a huge part of digital marketing, whether it’s blog copy, social media posts, email campaigns, videos or podcasts. Each of these media channels allow you to communicate with different demographics within your target audience.
Content calendars are a great way to bolster your content strategy by giving you and your team a roadmap to follow. Look at previous years’ seasonal and business trends and plan your content around those trends. Putting it all in a calendar will help you keep you on track, see what’s coming next, and avoid the panic of last-minute writing.
Defensive Marketing Strategies
As opposed to using offensive marketing to grow your market share at the expense of your competitors, defensive marketing strategies aim to keep you from losing your own market share. Whether it’s countering your competitors’ claims against your brand or strengthening your own position, these defensive marketing tips will help keep you afloat.
Focus on Your Existing Customers
By now, most companies should know that the cost of acquiring a new customer far outweighs the cost of retaining existing customers. New customer acquisition can cost 5 times more than customer retention, and the success rate for selling to existing customers is considerably higher than new customers.
During an economic downturn, it’s especially important to focus on your existing customers. When times are tough, people are hesitant to spend, so it’s not worth it to chase new sales in the hopes that a few will bite. Instead, focus on keeping your loyal customers happy. Run sales and promotions targeted towards previous buyers, and they’ll be more likely to stick around.
Track and Analyze Everything
Compared to traditional marketing and advertising, digital marketing allows for more precise, specific and measurable campaigns—which leads to better, more quantifiable results. The reason for all this is the availability of tracking and analytics tools.
With tools like Google Analytics and CallRail, you can combine valuable data with your sales numbers to identify your most successful campaigns. Knowing what return each marketing effort is delivering and why will help you not only survive, but also grow.
Test Your Strategies, Refine Them, Then Repeat
There’s no magic way to get people to buy, but you can figure out what leads them down their buyer’s journey. The best way to do this is to gather as much information as possible for each campaign—the more detailed the better—and refine your efforts based on that data.
Once you’ve found something that works, repeat that strategy for your other efforts. But don’t stop testing new ideas; you just may find something that works better. With these steps, you will condense your marketing strategy to only include the most effective campaigns.
Barge Marketing Is Here to Help
Businesses that continue to market themselves and push through adversity will come out the other side better for it. Backed by years of experience and positive results for our clients, our data-driven marketing approach is proven to help you succeed in even the hardest times. If you’re stressing about what to do with your marketing strategy, let us help you. All it takes is a conversation to get the ball rolling; contact us here to see what we can do for you.