A Business Owner’s Guide for Marketing Strategy during Recessions [like COVID-19]
According to International Monetary Fund :Contents hideRe-thinking Marketing Strategy : 15 Innovative Marketing Ideas for Business Owners Survive COVID-19 Recession
“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the world into a recession. For 2020 it will be worse than the global financial crisis. The economic damage is mounting across all countries, tracking the sharp rise in new infections and containment measures put in place by governments.“
The recessional phase of the global economy will make many existing marketing trends obsolete and create many new marketing strategy and trends. The recession will make many business owners reduce marketing budget to control operational cost. But the business owners cannot generate more revenue during and after the recession without investing in digital marketing.
In addition to focusing on low-cost marketing channels, they need to focus on long-term marketing efforts and strategies. The business owners need to revamp their existing marketing strategies to stay relevant and beat competition during recession. Also, they must adopt new marketing ideas to increase return on investment (ROI) in both short and long runs.
Re-thinking Marketing Strategy : 15 Innovative Marketing Ideas for Business Owners Survive COVID-19 Recession
The business owners cannot survive the ongoing recession by sharing information about COVID-19. They must remember that many experts find symptoms of coronavirus both confusing and puzzling. Also, the business owners are neither healthcare practitioners nor healthcare providers. Hence, they cannot popularize brands and drive sales by providing healthcare advice to customers. Instead of sharing healthcare advice, the business owners must focus on easing the impacts of the pandemic and global recession on the community.
Provide Accurate and Up-to-Date Business Information
The lockdown restrictions imposed by authorities make many business owners close their businesses temporarily or change business hours. The business owners must focus on providing accurate and up-to-date information about their businesses to customers to drive sales. For instance, they can easily impress and attract local customers by updating opening hours and explaining why the business is closed temporarily.
Google recently allowed business owners to mark their profiles appear as temporarily closed on Google Maps and Google Search. The business owners can easily convey accurate information to customers by updating their Google My Business profile. The accurate business information will help local customers to trust the business owner and visit the business at the appropriate time.
Avoid Offering Hefty Discounts
Many business owners try to attract customers and boost sales by offering hefty discounts during recession. They must remember that hefty discounts diminish the value of products or services in customers’ minds. Also, they will find it difficult to convince to customers to pay more for the products or services after the recession. Instead of offering excessive discounts, the business owners focus on boosting sales through referral programs and promotion.
Focus on Engaging Existing Customers
Recessions often make prospects postpone their buying decisions. Hence, business owners find it challenging to acquire new customers during recession. But they can easily drive sales by engaging existing customers. As the customers have already availed a product or service, the business owners can easily persuade them to placing more orders. Their marketing strategy must emphasize on persuading current customers to place larger or frequent orders.
Switch to Local Marketing
The lockdown restrictions imposed by various governments make it difficult for online retailers to sale and supply non-essential items. Also, the restrictions make many customers opt for local products or services. The business owners must target local customers to drive sales during COVID-19 recession. While designing ads or launching advertisement campaigns, they must target customers living in nearby regions. Also, they must
Invest in Customer Experience Personalization
The customers will face a variety of problems during the COVID-19 lockdown and recession. A business can’t boost sales without address the problem faced by each customer and answering the questions asked by each customer. The business owners must invest in customer experience personalization to meet the needs of individual customers. The customer experience personalization will help businesses to overcome the fluctuation in the demand for a product during recession. Also, it will make it easier for them to engage customers with varying questions and demands.
Collect More Customer Reviews and Testimonials
During recession, customer reviews and testimonials act as a powerful marketing tool to build a business’s reputation and influence customers’ buying decisions. The business owners must request existing customers to post reviews and testimonials on various online forums. They can use the testimonial and reviews in various marketing campaigns to build trust with prospects who wants to opt for the best brand or purchase the best product.
Leverage Low Cost Marketing Channels
There are a number of marketing channels that help business owners to engage customers and boost sales without increasing marketing budget. For instance, the business owners can influence the buying decisions of both customers and prospects by delivering relevant content through emails. Likewise, they can implement search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to get more website visitors from Google and Bing in both short and long runs. However, they need to ensure that the content is developed with the aim to accomplish predefined marketing goals. The businesses need to maintain their content calendar during these times. Here are some innovative ideas to come up with blog posts for a robust content strategy.
Integrate Contextual Content across Marketing Channels
The worldwide lockdown makes people access a variety of content regularly. The increase in digital content consumption makes content marketing an effective tool to survive COVID-19 recession. The business owners must focus on creating content by what customers need and what customers are asking. Also, they need to integrate the contextual content in emails, social media, and other digital marketing channels to meet precise business goals.
Explore Ways to Reach Qualified Leads
While comparing marketing channels, the business owners should focus on reaching qualified leads. They must invest more in advertisement options like pay-per-click (PPC) ads to display relevant ads to qualified leads at the right time. The business owners must stop non-performing PPC ads and invest in more productive PPC ads. They can further target more qualified leads using the targeting options provided by the search engine and social networks. However, the business owners cannot increase conversion without keeping the ad copies appealing and compelling.
Stay Connected with Customers on Social Media
As people spending most of their time at home, they spend more digital media time on social networking platforms. The business owners must stay connected with customers and prospects on social media convey up-to-date information. They can leverage the social networks as a powerful communication channel to convey up-to-date information to customers like changes in business hours, if the business is temporarily closed and if there are options place orders online. Also, the business owners can impress customers by explaining the measures taken by them to protect both customers and employees from COVID-19.
Focus on Outranking Competitors on SERPs
The customers will use search engines to conduct pre-purchase research during and after COVID-19 recession. Hence, the business owners must focus on outranking competitors on search engine result pages (SERPs) to get more website visitors and generate more revenue. They need to implement a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy to improve the visibility of their websites on SERPs. The SEO strategy will further help them to build a long-term marketing plan that will remain relevant during and after the COVID-19 recession. However, the business owners must remember that SEO is an ongoing and long-term process. Here are some basic SEO tips and tricks which site owners can implement.
Contribute Towards the Community
Most people these days appreciate businesses and brands that help communities during the lock down caused by COVID-19. The business owners can help communities in a number of ways without contributing a hefty sum of money to corona virus response funds. For instance, they can impress customers by facilitating home delivery or helping elderly people to shop groceries. The small efforts will help the business owners to win the trust of customers and popularize brands. Hence, the business owners must not miss any opportunity to contribute and help the community.
Adjust the Marketing Strategy Frequently
The business owners must keep the marketing strategy flexible and dynamic to survive COVID-19 recession. They must remember that the tough economic downturns will not allow them to control all variable. There are always chances that the business owners might curtail marketing budget and lay off marketing staff due to resource constraints. It is always advisable for business owners to emphasize on digital marketing campaigns which can be adjusted and customized without any hassle or delay.
Don’t Make Panic Decisions
The COVID-19 recession makes it essential for business owners to adopt emerging marketing trends and experiment with innovative marketing ideas. But the business owners cannot survive the recession simply by adopting emerging trends. Likewise, a specific idea may not help them to achieve predefined goals. They have to take data-driven decisions instead of panic decisions to survive the global recession. Before implementing a marketing idea, they must analyze the data collected from various sources using relevant metrics. The business owners must not forget that customers will consume products and services during and after the COVID-19 recession.
COVID-19 is all set to impact the global economy severely by shrinking global GDP and bringing global recession. The leading economists find it challenging to ascertain the impact of the COVID-19 recession accurately. Hence, business owners need to adopt emerging marketing trends and experiment with innovative marketing ideas to survive the global recession.