2. Don’t Stop Marketing
Broad economic studies that have examined decades of previous recessions have shown that continuing to market during a recession drives the best business outcome. One McGraw Hill study
specifically focused on the recession between 1981 and 1982 found that companies that marketed aggressively during the recession had 256% higher sales than those that didn’t continue to market. There are two key reasons for this:
• If you’re marketing when no one else is, you have a much louder voice.
• Marketing drives sales. Shutting it down will freeze your sales pipeline, whereas continuing to market keeps it in motion.
Despite the fact that the best course of action is to continue marketing, the reality is budgets are tightening and consumer buying behavior is changing. Rather than slashing spend completely, companies should reevaluate their marketing strategy, messaging, and how much money is being spent on the most effective tactics.
3. Pivot Your Marketing Strategy and Messaging
Now is the time to reinvent your marketing purpose and process. In a climate where everything has changed, it’s actually more risky for you to do nothing different than for you to overhaul your current strategy. Certain tactics, particularly offline media, are no longer as effective due to the change in consumer behavior. There are fewer people commuting to work, a decline in in-person events, and capacity limits in public spaces, which can limit the reach of traditional advertising tactics. Meanwhile, internet, streaming, and social media usage has skyrocketed
. Pivoting your marketing strategy to leverage digital tactics and meet consumers in their own homes is the logical move for your 2021 ad spend.
Many brands may also find that the messaging around the products or services they provide is no longer relevant to the current moment. For example, pizza restaurants are notorious for planning promotions around sporting events. But in the absence of professional sports, Domino’s changed it’s tune
and began advertising it’s safe carryout and delivery process. Making this kind of messaging shift ensures your brand is being sensitive to the evolving situation. Carrying on with business as usual is a sure way to be phased out of the consumer conversation.