Don’t slam the brakes in a downturn

Katie Bregazzi, director at Derby marketing agency Balls2 Marketing, explains why pausing your brand message during a downturn allows other businesses to move to the forefront in your customers’ minds.

We hear it regularly in client conversation. Sales have dropped, we need to cut back on marketing. It’s a natural reaction in business, but it’s also a kneejerk one, and one that will almost certainly work against you.

As a Derby marketing agency that has navigated clients through more than a handful of economic downturns, we’re not afraid to be frank with you: If your message doesn’t reach your audience, your business growth is going to suffer, plain and simple.

Investing in marketing, especially when the market is down, isn’t just about gaining traction right away. It’s about planting seeds for the future, building relationships, and creating a brand that can weather the highs and lows.

Don’t lose sight of the rule of seven

It’s been around forever, but the idea that a customer needs to see your message about seven times before deciding to buy, still stands. Being confident, consistent, and repetitive matters.

When you’re not reaching out to your audience, they’ll forget about you. The brand you’ve worked hard to build and impression you’ve made to date will fade away – and other businesses will move to the forefront in your customers’ minds.

Consistent brand messaging

In times of economic uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to have a strong and consistent brand message. This means having a clear understanding of your target audience, defining your brand values and positioning, and creating content that aligns with all of it.

Your brand message should be the same across all platforms – from website design and social media to PR and advertising campaigns. This consistency helps build trust with your audience and reinforces your branding in their minds.

Step into your customer’s shoes

It may be tempting to slam the brakes on your marketing spend for a quick fix when times are tough.

Even though it’s smart to keep an eye on expenses, ignoring your brand and not paying attention to the changing needs of your main customer base will harm your business in the long run.

Businesses that work with us to really drill down into what their customers want, carefully manage their marketing budget rather than making big cuts, and swiftly adapt their plans and products to meet changing demands are the ones that thrive during a downturn. They are also the ones that bounce back faster when things improve.

Adjust don’t combust

Marketing is nothing without a strategy, and marketing strategy is most definitely a moving part. When sales are down, we adjust the channels we have to reach a wider audience, and adapt to changing market conditions.

Is that social media advertising? Influencer partnerships? Email marketing? How do we quickly reach customers who are spending most of their time online? That’s what we’re here to work out.

Steer away from the hard sell

Promoting your products or services is only part of the marketing equation. You’ve got to help potential customers understand the benefits you bring to the table.

Remember, marketing isn’t just about promoting your stuff. It’s also about building genuine connections with customers. In today’s crazy competitive market, you can’t rely solely on the quality of your offerings to attract and keep customers.

Marketing plays a pivotal role in creating the emotional connection that’s now so crucial to conversions.

The takeaway? Keep your marketing efforts consistent and persistent, even when things get tough.