Recession Proof Marketing

Recession Proof Marketing Podcast Transcript

 

Introduction

“Hi, I’m Tracy Heatley.  Welcome to this episode of the Be Better With Tracy Heatley Podcast, which is all about recession proof marketing.

Products And Services That Do Well In A Recession

There are always doing to be products and services that our recession proof, like healthcare, funeral director businesses and utilities, groceries, for examples. However, as small business owners, we can all aim to make our businesses as recession proof as possible.

Don’t Cust Back On Marketing

We both know that as small business owners there are never any guarantees. We make the best decision that we can with what information and resources we have available right now. So many businesses batten down the hatches and cut costs when a financial crisis hits. Quite often, marketing and training cuts are the first to go. I understand the need to save money. However, cutting too many costs can really hold you back when it comes to getting through a recession.

It’s About Balance

Personally, I think it’s always wise to monitor and evaluate your small business marketing spend and make changes if necessary.  I do strongly believe, though, that it’s the businesses that market the way through a recession that come out on top.  It’s all about balance!  I’m not suggesting that you overspend, but I am suggesting that you put a recession proof marketing plan together.   Don’t pull back on marketing – do more of it!

Mindset

I think mindset plays a part in this too, because if you’re constantly focusing on the negative impact that a recession can have on you and your business, you will subconsciously hold yourself back.  He sensible and make good business decision, but you hold back, you could fail!

We must take risks sometimes in business and we must believe in our own capabilities, that of team that we surround ourselves with and in our business.

My Experience

I’m speaking from experience.  My Business Over Breakfast (Northwest) company was set up in 2007. I was doing marketing consultancy simultaneously. In 2009 I decided to pull back on the marketing side of things in favour of investing my time in getting several networking launched across the Northwest of England. Bear in mind that the financial crisis of 2008 had hit and had a massive negative impact on the UK markets.  We were in recession! I remember having a conversation with my accountant, who was a little concerned about the risk I was about to take. He asked me, “What about the recession.”  My reply was, “I’m ignoring it.”

Now, let me clear, I wasn’t being dismissive of what could go wrong, and I certainly understood the complexities that the recession caused, because many of my former marketing clients worked within the financial services industry, so I knew the problems that were being caused for businesses across the UK.  I did, however, decide to take a calculate risk. My ignoring the recession, didn’t mean, I wasn’t assessing the financial side of the business.  It meant, I was keeping my marketing mindset and carrying on regardless. It’s fair to say that I’m a determined woman!  I simply wasn’t going to let anything stop me, and I didn’t!

Crucial Marketing Strategies

I understand that financial reserves can be constrained for small businesses like yours, so I thought I’d concentrate on sharing some crucial strategies that won’t cost the earth.  You can start implementing these now to try and recession proof your marketing.

Before I go through these seven strategies, I want you to make a promise to yourself not to cut your marketing spend. Just learn to spend wisely! Short term gain is no way to cope with a recession. You still need to consider the future. A future without marketing may result in a future with no sales or declining sales, so remember to think about the bigger picture. Remember your long-term vision and focus on that.

Okay, so here’s the strategies:

 

  • Assess your marketplace and make sure that your brand is positioned correctly. If it’s not, then re-position your brand. Buyer behaviour changes during a recession. Certain things that were the ‘norm’ for people change and priorities change, too, so you must make sure that your brand is perfectly placed to assist your customers. Think about offering alternatives for your customers to give them what they need. This might mean introducing more affordable products, for example. Keep up with what competitors are doing and continuously adapt to differentiate your business from theirs.
  • Think about pricing strategies and how you can offer customers alternative ways to pay. Perhaps think about pricing plans or other ways to make sure that you retain your customers. Not only does it show that you’re considering their needs, but this will also massively help customer retention. Heck, it could even boost your customer retention and increase your sales revenue.
  • If you haven’t done so already, put your digital marketing strategy and plan together. If you haven’t got the financial resources for paid online advertising and SEO, there’s still lots you can do simply by adding value content to your website.

If it’s not already done, get your website up to scratch and make sure that the pages are optimised.  If you’ve not got time or you don’t know how, then get a professional to do it for you.  Start adding regular content that your potential customers will find useful. Blogs are a wonderful way of doing this. You will be adding regular content to your website, which the search engine algorithms love. Also, you’ll be adding value to your prospects and customers. You want to be the ‘go to’ person or company for what they need. Let your wealth of knowledge shine through, so that when they need what you offer, your business is the first brand that they think about. It’s all about sewing the seeds for the future!

  • Build your email database, so that you can keep in touch with your customers and your target audience. This is useful for promoting the changes that you will be making to support your customers changing requirements during a recession. You need to stay in the mind of your target market and building your email list is cost efficient and effective way of doing this. Plus, it gives you the opportunity for continuous marketing to your existing customers. It’s far more cost effective to upsell to existing customers than is to get new customers on board. Utilising your database could play a massive part of recession proofing your marketing and help to build trust.
  • Boost your social media activities. Often, unless your paying for advertising, the only resource your need to boost social media is time and know-how. Develop your social media plan, so that you know what platforms you will use, when you will publish content, what messages you will communicate and what you want to achieve. Don’t leave your social media to change.  Make sure that you choose who, what, why, when and where your marketing messages will be seen. Again, if you don’t know how or you know what you need to do but you haven’t got the time, then outsource it to a professional who does or consider employing someone for the role.
  • Start using social media platforms to build relationships, not just followers. Social media isn’t just about posting and publishing content, it’s about reaching out to people. LinkedIn is especially useful for this. Whatever platforms you’re using, take the time to like, comment, interact, share or retweet, so that you’re not only creating an algorithmic bond on the social media platforms, but so that you can actually start to create a proper connection with people.
  • Start increasing your customer reviews and testimonials. Make sure they go on your website before anywhere else, so that the original content is yours. As well as creating new content for your website, you’re communicating that your customers are happy. Testimonials are an excellent way to demonstrate the benefits and value that you bring. It’s not uncommon for prospects to view your website and social media many times before enquiring about your service, so constantly updating your website testimonials also helps to instill trust. Once you’ve added your testimonials to your website, share them on social media.  Ask customers for Google and LinkedIn reviews too. You can never have enough testimonials or five-star reviews.

Competition

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Summary

To summarise this episode, marketing your way through a recession could be the difference between the future success or failure of your business. Don’t cut back on your marketing budget.  Just spend it wisely. Start putting the seven strategies I’ve suggested in place now.  Remember keep your mindset strong, focused and be determined. You’ve got this!

Can I Help?

I specialise in marketing mentoring and consultancy for small business service providers like you. So, If I can be of any helps whatsoever or if you have a quick question that you would like to ask about marketing, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to help.

You can send any marketing queries that you have via my website, which is www.tracyheatley.com.

Or you can email me at info@tracyheatley.com.

I’m also on socials as Tracy Heatley UK

I’m always happy to connect with my listeners on LinkedIn too, so if you would like to connect, you’ll find me easily on LinkedIn.  Go to the three dots near my name, select connect and add a note to tell me that you’re a podcast listener and I’ll be happy to add you and share my thousands of connections with you.

I sincerely hope that you’ve found this episode useful.

I’m Tracy Heatley, and I thank you for listening to my Be Better With Tracy Heatley podcast”.

Better Business, Better You!