In difficult economic times it can be helpful to review current marketing activities to ensure that resources and budget are being focused in the right areas. Here we list our top 5 tips for marketing in a recession:
1. Be aware. It is important for management to have visibility of overall trends and be able to monitor them closely as they change every week or month. An effective way of achieving this is to set up dashboard summary reports, which can deliver essential information in a highly visual format, and enable easy tracking of key performance indicators including customer recruitment, financial income, signups, opt-ins, and more.
2. Outsource. Reduce risk and long-term budget commitments by preferring outsourced solutions to building your own from scratch. Major in-house projects can be expensive and time-consuming to implement, tying up internal IT resources and limiting marketing activities until they are live and launched. In contrast, ‘off-the-shelf’ solutions are tried and tested, can be faster to implement, and often work out less expensive overall. To maximise the benefits, prefer products which are quick to set up and do not have a long-term tie-in.
3. Treasure your existing customers. Ensure that your customers remain aware of the value of your products and services by staying in touch via regular, relevant and interesting communications. Be careful that the content of these reflects any interests and preferences they have specified, and try to co-ordinate promotions from different departments to avoid unwanted bombardment with too many messages. Sending targeted offers and advance info that are exclusive to email subscribers can make customers feel special and highlight the value of being on your mailing list.
4. Target new prospects carefully. A broad approach to customer recruitment can be expensive and time-consuming. Instead, focus your resources on very specific segments of very well qualified prospects in order to maximise the benefits. For example, aim to convert one-off buyers to regular customers, offer incentives to contacts who have registered interest but not yet purchased, or target very relevant prospects form 3rd party lists.
5. Be efficient. In times of recession there is likely to be a keener focus on the ROI of each activity within a company. It is therefore important to focus resources on those activities which will help to retain existing customers and attract new ones, and carefully track the results. As a key part of this, ensure all campaigns are run as efficiently as possible – for example, only send out emails to addresses that are known to be valid and actively in use.