Setting up and running your own business is bold and brave…and tough! And with the added pressure of less consumer spend, it’s understandable if you start to panic. One of the first things businesses look at, is where can costs be cut. Sadly marketing is usually quite high on the list. But marketing in a downturn is critical to business survival.

I know you’re thinking, ‘well of course she’s going to say that’, but hear me out.

The way things are

So you’re seeing news stories like this:

Sky news reported on how consumer spend is down in all categories.

And this:

Retail Week reports on Amazon sales.

And thinking, if the likes of Amazon are suffering losses, then the likelihood is that your business is going to be seeing a downturn too. Perhaps it’s causing you a lot of stress and it’s keeping you awake at night with worry.

A reduction in sales can cause a lot of stress and worry.

So what can you do to keep your business on the customer’s radar when they do spend?

What is the business strategy?

Taking a step back and looking at your business strategy is a good place to start. Setting some clear objectives will help focus your mind on the areas of your business which need attention.

And that’s where marketing comes in

Because marketing can and should be done so that it is in line with your business goals. It makes the activities so much clearer and measurable too.

Types of marketing in a downturn

Here are some of the activities you can do to help your business survive. The key with all these activities is to do them consistently. Showing up in front of your audience regularly will keep your business in mind when your customers want to spend. Who do you think they are more likely to consider buying from:

  • a business they’ve not heard from, or
  • one they are seeing and hearing from regularly?

Social media

Keep posting and socialising on social media platforms.

Posting consistently on social media is important. Sometimes it can feel like there is a lack of engagement, but don’t be disheartened – your followers are still seeing that your business is active.

Take some time to review your profiles. Do they need updating? Can you add any new information?

And just as importantly as posting, remember to be socialising! Comment on posts as your business and get into conversations – apart from showing your followers what you are up to, this also shows the platforms that you are being social. The more of this you do, the more they’ll share your content. Simply posting means that the channels see you as using them just to promote what you want to.

Email marketing

Marketing in a downturn
Use email marketing and lead magnets to keep in touch with your customers.

Regularly email your audience. Let them know what’s going on in your business. It shouldn’t be all ‘sell, sell, sell’.

If you’d like to know how you can be creative with your email marketing, then take a read of my blog here.

Lead magnets

And if you don’t have a large database of contacts you can email, how about increasing it using a lead magnet?

If lead magnets are something you’ve not done before, you can read about them in my blog that explains what they are and why you should use them.

Website review

When was the last time you looked at your website through a customer’s perspective? Use this time to make changes so that your customer journey is as smooth and seamless as possible. Think about how easily can a customer navigate your website. Can they easily find the information they need?

There’s some tips about improving conversion rates in this blog.

Talk to your customers

Arrange to talk directly to your customers to see things from their view point.

It’s all well and good having quantitative data from Google Analytics, but do you actually ask your customers what they think? Or is it all guess work? Organising a focus group or a telephone conversation with clients can help you to understand why your customer is driven to purchase from you, find out about their likes and dislikes, their demographic information, and whether they’re likely to purchase from you again. All of that information can then be applied in the marketing that you do.

Please don’t give up on your marketing

I hope this blog has demonstrated some of the ways that you can continue with your marketing in a downturn, and why it is so important.

If you need help setting goals, or just feel that marketing is going to slip off your radar as there are too many other things to concentrate on right now, then please get in touch and see if I can help.

Gill x

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