Marketing

5 Marketing Mistakes To Avoid During an Economic Downturn

Marketing Mistakes To Avoid During an Economic Downturn
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Take a moment and ask yourself honestly: Is your company’s marketing plan recession-proof or are you making marketing mistakes that might hurt your business in the long run.

There are no guarantees with a recession. Staying profitable can be challenging even in good times, and a down economy can be scary for businesses of all sizes.

What can your company do to ride out a down economy and go beyond?

You can change your marketing strategy to give your company a better chance at surviving and thriving even during a downturn. By avoiding the following five marketing mistakes, you can even use this challenging time to build customer loyalty, clarify what you sell and why, and build a database of valuable metrics.

Not changing your marketing strategy

Mistake #1: Not changing your marketing strategy

During a recession, families are being impacted. One of the worst things you can do as a company is to belittle what customers may be going through. You will not be able to fix everything for everyone but explore some ways to give back and make things easier. Show you care and that you are continually tuning in to your customers’ needs.

Knowing your target market is business 101. If your target market is not clearly defined, you won’t understand them. As a result, you won’t know what they need in good times and certainly not in harder times.

Figure out your audience- what keeps them up at night, what their dreams are, and their challenges. Adjust your marketing strategy accordingly to align with your audience personas. Then when you know your customers are going through something, like a recession, add an extra dose of empathy.

lack of clear goals

Mistake #2: A lack of clear goals or a way to track marketing results

Are you making this marketing strategy mistake? You run a campaign because it sounds good in theory, and you think it will reach customers, but you have no clear goal and no way to track if it is working. Sit down with your team and explore the goals that would impact your business. Do you want to grow on social media, increase sales, build your email list, or create a loyalty-building program?

Get specific about the numbers you want to achieve. Make sure you have a way to measure results. And remember to focus on the things that matter over vanity numbers. If you get a lot of Facebook likes but those do not translate into sales, is it helping your business?

Not knowing what you actually sell to customers

Mistake #3: Not knowing what you actually sell to customers

Maybe you think I know the products and services inside and out, but is that actually what you are selling? Your unique selling proposition is not about you but about your customers. This goes back to knowing your target audience well. However, you must also know how your products and services meet their wants and needs.

What does your product or service do for your customer? Does it save them time? Does it help your customer gain more freedom, be more productive, or save money to use on something else?

Dig deep into how you can adjust your marketing strategies to show the benefits behind the products and services. In recession marketing, it is vital that you understand the benefits of what you sell and know how to relay that to customers. Otherwise, your products and services may cut out when things get tight.

Ignoring email in your digital marketing strategy

Mistake #4: Ignoring email in your digital marketing strategy

Do you think email is becoming outdated? Billions of people use email, including your customers and target market. Social media marketing and search engine optimization are essential.

However, there is something more intimate about customers allowing you into their inboxes. This makes customers more receptive to your message. The more touchpoints you have with customers and potential customers, the more they trust you.

Email provides the space for you to go into more detail about how you can help them, offer special promotions, build authority and educate. It is also a great way to test your messaging to see what lands. You can conduct A/B tests to figure out what subject lines are getting opened the most and figure out why.

Again focus on your target market and what you sell, not the products but the deeper relief your product gives customers.

Overcomplicating your marketing strategies

Mistake #5: Overcomplicating your marketing strategies

When you make your content marketing strategy complicated, it can feel too overwhelming even to implement. Getting better at marketing takes practice. You have to be willing to experiment repeatedly and adjust as you go.

Focus on simplifying things for your company, employees, and customers. Especially during hard times like a recession, there is enough stress going around.

Try putting out a survey to ask customers what they want and need. You may find it easier to meet those needs than you think. Then ask your team how you can simplify your strategy and implement some new methods.

Do not get stuck in always doing things the same way. Learn to innovate. A campaign that worked well the first time may fall flat the second time. See what lessons you can learn from what worked and apply those in new ways for each campaign you run.

How will your company avoid these marketing mistakes?

Ask, observe, learn, and adjust. There is no single marketing strategy that will work for every business. But a great way to avoid marketing mistakes is to ask your customers and team how you can improve. Simplify your strategy and have clear goals with measurable metrics. And when mistakes do happen, as they will, learn to adjust, not quit.

As you measure results, look for actions you can take to improve. You are not keeping score just to keep score. Stay current with your industry but, even more importantly, with your customers. Show them you are observant and that you care.

Marketing is a process that needs to grow and evolve with your company and your target market. Understand this, and you will go far in building a brand your customers can trust. Reach out to professionals to develop your content strategy as times and your business change.

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About the author

Lori Hil

Lori Hil is a Content Marketing writer and Former Forbes Contributor. She specializes in productivity, online business, entrepreneurship, and social media. Helping business owners share and clarify their message.