When recession hits, it doesn’t ask you whether you are ready to handle it or not. It starts unexpectedly and may not withdraw even for a year.
During similar times some companies decide to vanish into thin air and save their marketing resources.
They prefer to wait until the markets will recover and they will restart their activities once people are again ready to buy.
While many other companies continue their marketing campaigns and even increase their promotion budget during recession.
Past recessions have shown that if you stay promotional during hard times, you gain long-term advantage over your competitors who decided to wait on the sidelines.
So your marketing strategy during recession needs optimization, not elimination.
Consumers should hear your brand’s name even though the economy isn’t the same. And you can reap the long-term benefits of marketing during recession because we will show you today how to do it right
Is recession already there? We will discuss 7 ways of how to optimize marketing budgets and how to cut marketing costs without making mistakes.
Retarget high-intent website visitors
You don’t have to invest all your available budget in acquiring new customers. Instead, you can work on closing visitors who are already familiar with your brand and have been on your website.
The thing is on which channel you are going to retarget them. Google, Facebook and other social networks allow you to install pixels on your site. Thus, you become able to retarget people who have been actively browsing your web pages.
One-time interactions aren’t enough for sales. You should take your chance and remind of your brand with the help of an ad. Retargeting ads are much more budget-friendly and much more effective in terms of trust.
Network and get referrals
In the days of recession, you wish someone promoted your brand and shared your burden. That should be your program, not just a wish. You can actually achieve it if you motivate your customers, partners, and influencers to refer you.
Even when the recession is gone, people will continue trusting real human experiences and prefer personal recommendations over self-advertising.
If your company still doesn’t offer a referral program, now is the perfect time to launch it. If you already have one in place, make sure you, your network, and your brand advocates are actively spreading the word about it.
Acquire customers from tested sources
We agree with you. You can’t entirely rely on word of mouth marketing or visitor retargeting. The reason is simple – your website isn’t generating a high amount of traffic or you don’t have a rich customer base.
Hopefully, you have some customer acquisition reports and can analyze where the majority of your revenue is coming from. Focus on channels that bring you customers at low costs and/or with high retention rate.
Small tests won’t do harm either. Are there any channels you haven’t invested at all but they might work? Try to allocate a small budget and understand whether you can expect tangible results from any of these new channels.
Set goals and KPIs for your campaigns
No matter your campaign targets new or old customers, leads or visitors, they should be optimized. Because a successful marketing campaign optimization process directly results in marketing budget optimization.
Your campaign goals should be as clear as day and don’t leave room for assumptions. For example,
“Get 120 new customers during the next 3 months. Target audience includes [gender] between [age range] who live in [city]”.
“Get 50 new referrals during the next 1 month. Send [emails or SMS] to existing customers”.
Setting KPIs helps you understand how your campaign is performing (clicks, views, open rate, etc). Low-performing campaigns need to be further optimized.
Replace paid tools with free ones
With 5,000+ martech tools out there and new ones still emerging, companies are offered a wide range of marketing software solutions. Many of them are for extremely specific needs or just have free alternatives.
Small Business Trends brings together 50 free marketing tools that you can use in your content marketing, visual marketing and other related efforts.
Ubersuggest helps you with topic and keyword research, provides free website analysis and all without registration.
Canva allows you to create infographics, posters, banners for free.
Milanote allows you to organize your creative projects for free.
And there’re so many other great tools with free access. You can use them free forever and thus apply one of the methods of reducing marketing cost during recession.
Establish close bonds between sales and marketing teams
Your sales and marketing teams aren’t enemies who should blame each other for failed campaigns. They should be one strong team – smarketing team – who use each other’s strengths to get even closer to the customer.
When these two teams work independently and not listen to each other, it’s your revenue that suffers. You should create a mechanism that ensures a healthy and regular communication between them.
The sales team contacts customers directly and knows what they are looking for, what excites them. The marketing team can use that details to make the company’s offers more human-centric and natural. Thus, sales reps will get more quality and mature leads to close.
Gain publicity for free
When times get harder, you want to continue getting featured in articles and gaining publicity but do it without a budget. When it comes to increasing brand awareness and reputation, you can get results even without financial investments.
PRLog, Pr.com or HARO are just a few examples of platforms that allow you to sign up for free. Afterwards, you should actively track queries that journalists and bloggers are posting and submit your answers.
Your aim is to shed light on what special you do during the recession, e.g. special service terms, volunteer work, charity campaigns. Free link, free publicity and one more chance to spread the word about your activities.
Do you feel like you can’t overcome this recession alone? Andava’s team can do a free audit of your SEO, paid ads, social media and help you with personalized recommendations. Describe your goals and Andava’s team will get back to you shortly.