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How Small Businesses Prepare Their Marketing Strategies for a Recession

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Shreya Christinahttps://londonbusinessblog.com
Shreya has been with londonbusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider londonbusinessblog.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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All the talk of a recession forces small business owners to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. To understand how small businesses are preparing, I reached out to several marketing agencies that specialize in working with entrepreneurs to grow and scale. Preparing for a descent is like cross-country skiing. You must be prepared to weather the storm. To help, I’ve combined their feedback with the marketing strategies we employ in our company to be prepared for whatever the future may bring.

There will be no one-size-fits-all approach. Your approach depends on your current situation and the level of marketing you have deployed. In the larger part of the small business market, you have a full marketing team and several agencies supporting your business. And at the smaller end of the spectrum, you may have a single marketing manager. Evaluate each of these strategies for how they apply to your business and adapt them to your approach.

Related: 6 Proven Business Marketing Strategies for Growing During a Recession

Create trigger points for shifts in marketing spend

If there is a recession, we can expect revenues to fall. If that happens, what happens to the marketing spend? It is best to plan these decisions in advance if you are not under the stress of the moment. Where are you going to cut spending? Where are you going to increase spending? What metrics will you use to measure the success or failure of initiatives? What is your target cost per lead? What is your target cost per new customer? These are all questions entrepreneurs are now asking themselves and their marketing teams.

We are working on establishing baselines. It’s like building a plane while we’re flying. We’ve seen some categories, such as ads and email, decline since the Apple iOS15 update, and it’s hard to know when we’ll hit the floor. Meanwhile, we’re seeing others like thought leadership, influencer marketing, and podcasting on the rise, and we’re not sure when we’ll hit the ceiling. The key is to stay on top of the marketing mix and be accountable to understand what really drives the needle we need to get moving. A completed strategy takes into account new account marketing, customer marketing, and partner marketing for a holistic strategy.

Invest in the brand and message to stay ahead of the competition

Companies do everything they can to stand out from the crowd. Bob Gillespie, founder of Propr Digital, said his clients are going to differentiate themselves through powerful branding and messaging. “Brands want to stand out. And once they do, they want to scale that differentiation. We’re seeing companies invest in their corporate brand and front-end message and then push this through all their campaigns to create stronger brand awareness in a more competitive marketing environment. “

This is something we chose to do during the pandemic. We knew the market was shifting and we couldn’t compete on size as a small business. So we knew we had to stand out and that every interaction had to count. We hired a brand agency to get in. They turned our brand upside down and came back with something that really sets us apart in the market. We then hired a messaging agency to coordinate our sales messages. Now we’re focused on making an impact and being memorable at every touchpoint.

Related: How Small Businesses Can Survive and Thrive in a Recession

Be strategic about ad spend and its purpose

If revenues fall, most companies will reduce their ad spend. Steve Krakower of Harbor Marketing Agency says, “This makes scaling more challenging.” He encourages you to ask yourself, “How do you acquire customers more efficiently? Focus on Return on Ad spend as your one big metric, and adjust expectations. Growth may be slower. So what we’re trying to do is focus on building a brand.We release a lot of content to build a community around brands and businesses.Then we supplement those brand ads with direct response ads.more sweat power to get results than five years ago, and in today’s market brand building is not optional.”

He also recommends that you “be smart with your spending. You don’t need to outrun the recession. You may not be as aggressive. You need to make sure you can weather the storm while positioning to scale after that.”

Joining forces to strengthen resources

This is not the time to go it alone. Positioning yourself as part of a “full suite” implies better value; people assume that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Brian Taylor of Goldiata Creative says, “Look at other recession-proof companies. Look for sectors that will have less impact during a recession, such as government, healthcare and consumer goods.”

We have made a strategic shift to align with specific partners in our go-to-market strategy. We realized that with a small marketing team of three, we couldn’t cook the ocean. We had to focus and take advantage of our partners’ marketing teams if we wanted to make an impact. This has enabled us to align our sales teams with a joint account-based marketing strategy, leverage content marketing resources across both brands, and increase the amount of lead volume sent to sales. That’s a win-win. We are in a market where we recognized that we are stronger together. Our partners have marketing teams more than three times our size. Why try to do it alone when we could jointly create content and run joint promotions that maximize the reach of both our brands? We have a powerful combined story to tell, so let’s tell it.

Related: Why You Should Never Cut Back on Brand Marketing in a Recession

Provide more social proof to increase loyalty

In a declining market, everyone’s reputation is at stake. And that means every decision matters. Joe Dominick, partner at Gauge Media and owner of a small IT company, says: “In a down market, be prepared to provide more social proof. You want case studies and testimonials that reassure people that the money they’re about to pay “spend will win” You can’t regret it. It’s not about loyalty, it’s about reducing fear and uncertainty in prospects. Reputation matters. And theirs is at stake just as much as yours .”

We’ve invested heavily in case studies as part of our content strategy, and we understand that as time goes by, this will become more and more useful, whether there’s a recession or not. Social proof is always important. See how you can tell the story of your customers and make them the hero. Your success is their success, and the more you can put them at the center of your marketing strategy, the better. Even in industries where you can’t publish the customer’s name, you can still publish it with the type of business and industry it operates in and anonymize it. The idea that we can’t share our successes just isn’t true. There is a creative way to tell every story.

Entrepreneurs understand that we need to think ahead and make strategic shifts to prepare for another unknown future. How you go about your marketing strategy can make or break your business. It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to cut their marketing budgets during a recession and rely solely on the sales channel. This is a strategy to fail because you need both to stay competitive. If you disappear from the market and expect people to remember who you are, you will be disappointed. We live in an out of sight, out of mind culture. People will forget your company. And small businesses will have to find a way to do both to stay competitive. They will have to be smart about it. The reality is that we can’t do everything. Thinking about what to focus strategically on right now can help you adjust the workload appropriately so you can scale up or down as needed. Any down market offers great opportunities for small businesses to grow.

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