How to Plan for an Unpredictable Market

How to Plan for an Unpredictable Market

During times of economic downturn, marketing is one of the first casualties of a business’s budget. In an effort to reduce operational costs, marketing seems superfluous, but in truth, it can make all the difference to a brand’s survival. How can you leverage marketing to survive times of economic uncertainty? Learn to craft a lasting strategy that protects your brand and tactics you can implement effectively even before the market becomes unstable.

Marketing Trends During Economic Downturns

In times of economic uncertainty or distress, small businesses often cut their marketing budget in hopes to save on some of their bigger expenses. However, the opposite is what really should be their go-to tactic. Take a step back and picture your competitors. If other businesses in the same market decide to cut back on marketing spending, that clears up the “level of noise” in your brand’s category. When other businesses stop advertising, keep pushing forward. Consumers are still active and still in need of your product or service, making you a more top-of-mind choice when it comes to product or service research. Not to mention, advertising costs are much lower during a recession making it an ideal market for brands. 

National brands do not hold off on marketing in times of economic distress. By continuing their efforts, they’re showing customers that they are stable and still running smoothly despite economic uncertainty. This can apply to smaller brands as well. By putting yourself into the marketplace or continuing your marketing efforts, you show consumers that even during challenging times, your brand is there to stay. And a brand that is reliable is a brand customers are loyal to. 

Lead With Your Brand

When you’re advertising, always be sure to lead with your brand. This starts with refining your brand position in the current market. Show consumers the value that your brand provides and why you’re the best choice in comparison to your competitors. Consumer behavior can easily change during economic uncertainty. So by stabilizing and leading with your brand, you can more effectively retain or bring in new business. 

To maintain your brand, you’ll want to maintain consistency in your brand voice. Remember, your brand is speaking to your ideal customer so tailor your voice to what that customer wants to hear. Another important tip for brand messaging is creating clarity, not noise, for consumers. Stay clear and consistent across all platforms. Keep your messaging simple enough to get your point across without overwhelming the consumer. When you combine branding, marketing, and the best customer experience, you’re following the B3 Plan.  Leverage your brand with clarity, and take over your target market.

Use your Marketing Dollars Efficiently

While you shouldn’t completely halt your marketing, and you don’t want to spend over budget, you’ll want to use your marketing dollars in the most efficient way possible. During times like this, it’s often a media buyer’s market. Be sure to watch trends in the local and national market, especially as regards media inventory and competitor activity. Insight into this will help you gain a better idea of where you’ll want to put your marketing dollars. 

If you’re struggling to keep up with paying employees, overhead costs, and other expenses, there may not be much left to spend on marketing. However, there are other ways to let customers know you’re still there that are more economically friendly. For example, maintain efforts on social media, blog posts, and newsletters. Using relevant keywords and hashtags, and staying consistent with posting are all great ways to show people you’re still active without going over budget.  

While it may seem like you should step back on marketing efforts to save a few dollars upfront but in the long run, it’s not worth it. When you continue marketing throughout times like this, you’ll be pushed an extra step above the others. This will in turn retain loyal customers, maintain brand consistency, bring in new customers, and eventually increase sales after the economic downturn is over. 

Ad spending is predicted to rise again in 2022 and 2023. Will we see a change this year? Let us know what you think.