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Recession-proofing your brand

It’s common practice (but not necessarily the right practice) for companies to cut back on their marketing spend when economic times get tough.

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2017-11-07 | BY Stamatia Zabotto

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It’s common practice (but not necessarily the right practice) for companies to cut back on their marketing spend when economic times get tough. If you’re a B2B (business-to-business) brand feeling the pinch and are considering cuts to your marketing plans, here are six considerations that will help you stretch your budget to do more with less.

 

1. Review your customer strategy

Your customer strategy, while always paramount, warrants a fresh approach before you change aspects of your brand that could negatively impact your customers. Ensure that you understand your customer’s needs and preferences entirely. Your customer is most likely operating in the same or similar challenging economic environment as you and may also be feeling an impact on their business and changing their buying decisions as a result. If you cut back on your marketing activities, will it hurt your customer’s experience of your business and potentially damage your brand reputation? How does your customer want to communicate with you? What information does your customer need and have their communication and interaction needs changed?

 

2. Don’t be schizophrenic with your brand values

A recession or slow economy is no reason to change your brand values. Avoid giving out conflicting brand messages. Your brand should stay true to what it stands for and be consistent with your purpose. Your company’s purpose needs to be well defined, well understood and applied consistently especially in tough economic times. A tough market doesn’t need to change that. Your brand doesn’t need to be submissive or sit on the fence on important issues. Regardless of the economy your brand needs to remain true to its convictions. Rather than changing your brand values, first look at more efficient ways to deliver your product or service that will not damage your brand’s equity. Brand authenticity is key.

 

3. A fresh perspective

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Tough times are a great opportunity to look at your business and your brand with fresh eyes. Surround yourself with critical thinkers and creative minds who are open to looking at new perspectives in your business. Even go so far as to transplant yourself into a different environment to stimulate new ideas or refreshed approaches. Things to consider would include your competitive advantage, progressive solutions and alternatives to products, processes and services, and channels to market. Consider the benefits of digital solutions and your customer’s experience as potential game changers.

 

4. Focus to achieve your marketing ROI

With belt-tightening comes focus. If you can’t do everything, pick a few things that you can do – and do them well. Consider innovative and cost-effective ways to achieve your objectives, for example, using technology, alliances and joint-ventures, find supporting partners where benefits are exchanged instead of cash, and look at your supply chain to ensure that you select suppliers who are aligned to the success of your business and your brand. Track your marketing ROI meticulously and if it is not delivering the results you need, change your approach without wasting any further cash.

 

5. Differentiation through digital content

Consider how you can create marketing and communications efficiencies through technology. For example, you have many new possibilities of reaching your customers, employees and stakeholders by using digital channels. It also opens the possibility to be creative in your message and differentiate your brand through engaging digital content. While digital channels were previously considered the domain of B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing, B2B marketers are increasingly leveraging the power of digital channels to build brands and reputations. Look at your marketing mix holistically and consider the possibilities of increasing your percentage of digital activities, and put your energy and focus into developing engaging digital content that will engage and benefit your customers and your brand.

Marketing, Budget, Brand, ROI, Measurement, Digital content, Recession Content, Purpose

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