Effective Marketing Strategies for Weathering an Economic Downturn


    Businesses in every industry face economic downturns, and dealing with them successfully takes skills and effort. Regardless of the situation or economy, marketers are tenacious, resilient, and creative.

    Even under the best of circumstances, marketing is a challenging job. Driving business growth is not dependent on just one thing. Marketing teams are responsible for engaging customers, creating and maintaining a strong brand, and creating a quality pipeline, to name a few. Typically, they are trying to accomplish more with the same budget and don’t have enough resources, people, or in-house expertise to complete all of the demands.

    But what happens if economic downturns or turbulence are introduced into the mix? Even the most assured marketers may experience some trepidation due to budget cuts, reduced headcounts, layoffs, hiring freezes, and increased stress.

    Some companies and marketing leaders have already experienced economic downturns and are aware that every slump will be followed by a reciprocal upturn. There is no need to panic since the economy will recover.

    So, the key question is: What should marketers be doing right now, given the ongoing supply chain issues, volatile stock market, strategic hiring layoffs and freeze, inflation concerns, and slowing consumer spending? Here are a few strategies marketing leaders can adopt during an economic downturn.

    Increase Focus on Existing Customers

    One of the most significant assets for any company is its customers. Businesses must be careful to treat them accordingly. They must consider helpful initiatives like a free training course. They can also consider potential expansion prospects. Ensuring that the company has strong customer segmentation and clear upsell and cross-sell strategies is a great idea right now.

    Increase ROI by Optimizing Digital Spending

    Spending money on segments with lower conversion rates now is not a good idea. Additionally, as some businesses do, this is not the time to cut back on digital spending. It is essential to test messaging and focus more on the segments that convert best. Businesses should also ensure they can demonstrate the return on investment from effective programs.

    Also Read: Building an Effective Marketing Strategy in an Economic Downturn

    Focus On Channels and Segments That Are Results-Oriented

    Marketing leaders should consider their marketing program mix to be similar to a stock portfolio; occasionally, the mix needs to be changed. It is crucial to find and focus on the most economical and successful channels that generate the highest ROI because behaviors are changing rapidly and resources are limited.

    For instance, perhaps the return from huge trade exhibitions is 2x while the return from smaller field activities is 4x. Field events could be ramped up, but larger events might be a somewhere to dial back on. Every organization’s performance will be different, but now is a good time to double-check that program performance is clear.

    Invest in the technology That Has the Biggest Impact

    Utilizing technology that links data to action is essential to marketing success when there are limited resources in terms of budget, people, and resources. No matter what tools marketing utilizes, technology that connects improves the current tech stack, like a CDP, will improve workflows, save the team time, and ensure buyers have a trusted and relevant experience.

    Also Read: Optimizing Marketing Budget Amid Economic Downturn

    Examining the existing plan is crucial for engaging and retaining customers – especially in a challenging economic downturn. There’s a good chance that some adjustments are required, whether it’s to the messaging or to an ongoing program. The secret to marketing success is staying flexible and paying attention to what the data is telling them. Many teams prioritize CDPs, but often people are unaware of the multiplier effect. With better data inputs, their current technology stack will be more effective and produce better results.

    For instance, immediately updating to reflect a customer’s new privacy preferences can help businesses keep them as valuable customers. Churn can be managed by proactively making an offer to an at-risk customer. Engaging a segment, so they move up to a higher value segment can impact the quarter. The first step is to optimize the right data and act accordingly.

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    Prangya Pandab
    Prangya Pandab is an Associate Editor with OnDot Media. She is a seasoned journalist with almost seven years of experience in the business news sector. Before joining ODM, she was a journalist with CNBC-TV18 for four years. She also had a brief stint with an infrastructure finance company working for their communications and branding vertical.