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With the economic downturn of 2022 still fresh on everyone’s mind, the possibility of a deeper recession in 2023 is a daunting thought for businesses around the world. Bloomberg analysts suggest there is a 100% chance of a recession in the coming year, and any business that is unprepared could be at risk.
However, with the right marketing strategies, businesses can not only prepare for the worst, but also come out on top. Marketing budgets make up to 40% of a company’s expenses from revenue, so it’s essential to be strategic in how you allocate your marketing dollars. Here are five tips to ensure your business stays afloat during a 2023 recession:
Related: 6 Recession-Proof Business Marketing Strategies
1. Focus on long-term ROI
During a recession, it can be tempting to cut spending that doesn’t show an immediate return on investment. Content marketing, for example, takes time to show results, as it can take weeks or even months for content to rank, for your website’s authority to grow, and for people to begin to trust your brand as a thought leader.
However, once your content gains traction, the rewards can be long-lasting. Put your marketing dollars into creating quality content that will still be relevant a year from now. This is the best way to ensure you have a steady stream of leads long after the recession is over.
Interactive content is a particularly effective strategy in this regard, as it can be easily shared and often creates long-term engagement. My company, implies.me, makes it easy to create interactive content without any technical skills.
In comparison, ad spend may bring immediate results, but it may not last. Like a faucet, if you cut ad spend, or if ads just become less effective over time, you’re going to lose leads and sales. If there’s little organic traffic to make up for lost advertising, you may find yourself in a worse situation than when you started.
2. Take advantage of low-cost channels
While it’s worth experimenting with different marketing channels, they can have very different costs. During the last Super Bowl, for example, 30-second ads cost around $6.5 million and averaged 106 million viewers.
That’s a CPM (cost per mile, or cost per thousand views) of around $61. It might be an effective investment for some businesses, but it’s not practical for most. The CPM of TikTok ads, by comparison, ranges from $0.50 to $10, and it’s possible to reach a large audience without any ads.
Organic TikTok videos, from dance challenges to creative product demonstrations, can go viral and create a massive amount of impressions. It’s a great option for businesses that don’t have the budget for expensive ads but want to reach a large audience.
3. Go locally
During a recession, it is important to focus on your region. Local businesses are better insulated from stock market volatility and international trade wars, and they tend to have more loyal customers.
Make sure your website and other marketing channels are optimized for local search and consider running hyper-local campaigns for your products or services. Also look for partnership opportunities with other businesses in your area. This can help you get your message across to a wider audience and build trust with potential customers.
You can also use your marketing budget for physical campaigns, such as sponsoring a local event or running a profitable ad in the local newspaper. This will help you reach potential customers in your area and build a loyal customer base that will stick with you even when the economy picks up.
Additionally, local search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming increasingly important. Investing in local SEO means you can reach potential customers who are actively looking for services in your area.
Related: Why You Should Never Skimp On Brand Marketing In A Recession
4. Focus on reducing churn
Even in the best of times, customer churn can be a major issue. Like pouring water into a leaky bucket, it’s hard to keep customers if you’re constantly losing them.
During a recession, when businesses are struggling for customers and revenue, it’s especially important to focus on reducing churn. Invest in customer retention strategies such as loyalty programs, customer feedback systems, and personalized offers. This will help you retain your existing customers and build relationships with them so they are more likely to stay with you in the future.
In practice, these systems need not be complicated. For example, you can track customers who haven’t used your product or service in a while, then email them a personalized offer or reminder. In this email, you can also include a satisfaction survey to help you understand why they haven’t returned and what you can do to win them back.
5. Double the Automation
Finally, consider investing in process automation and optimization. During a recession, it can be tempting to cut costs and staff, but automation can actually help your business become more efficient and increase your profits.
Invest in automation software for your marketing, sales, and customer service teams. It can help you save time and money by automating repetitive tasks, such as email campaigns and lead qualification. This will free up your team to focus on more important tasks and help you get better results from your marketing and sales efforts.
Popular tools like Zapier and IFTTT can be used to automate tasks and workflows, and they’re very inexpensive.
Related: 3 Strategies for Reaching Customers During an Economic Downturn
The 2023 recession is almost inevitable and many businesses will struggle to survive. However, with the right marketing strategies, you can not only weather the recession, but also emerge victorious. By focusing on long-term ROI, leveraging low-cost channels, going local, reducing churn, and investing in automation, you can ensure your business is well positioned. to succeed in the years to come.
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