Recession: 3 ways to tweak your marketing message in a poor economy

recession-marketing-message

Considering that the economy moves in cycles, a recession is likely to hit your business at some point. You have to consider how to tweak your marketing message when you find yourself in a difficult economy.

Notice that we’re talking about adjusting your messaging and not cutting your ad spend from your marketing budget. Of course, you’ll likely have to evaluate your overall expenses, but businesses that want to succeed in the long run would not cut their entire advertising budget. Be smart with your spending during a recession.

Companies that continued to advertise during a two-year recession in the 1980s saw 256 percent higher sales than their counterparts post-recession.

Beyond smart spending, your marketing message is critical during uncertain times. The following are three ways you should tweak your marketing message in a difficult economy.

Be human as a brand (and funny)

In a recession, stress is higher than ever for your consumers. It’s easier than ever to alienate your target audience with an out-of-touch message.

Stay human by finding ways of conveying that purchasing your products or services will not break the bank. You can even cite current economic conditions to underscore that you understand what your customers are going through.

And, of course, whenever you can lighten the mood with a bit of humor, all the better. Just make sure that your humor is both appropriate and actually funny.

Embrace a purpose beyond just selling

A difficult economy shifts a lot of consumers’ focus to seeking meaning beyond just buying more stuff.

In fact, about 42 percent of Gen Z consumers are more loyal to brands that address social inequalities. 

Of course, purpose-driven content appeals to economically stressed consumers of any age.

During the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a rise in mission-based and cause-related marketing, 42 percent and 41 percent respectively.

As a brand, what do you stand for? Is there a cause you can start to embrace and support now? Success in mission-based messaging requires authenticity and consistency.

Leverage social listening during a recession

Tuning into the concerns of your target audience and addressing them in your recession marketing message can help you be far more engaging.

In other words, lean on your social listening tactics. Social listening is essentially audience research. You monitor your brand’s social media channels for any customer feedback, mentions of your brand and discussions surrounding specific keywords, topics, competitors or industries that are relevant to your brand.

Social listening is a two-part process. You have the monitoring on the front end, but then you dive deeper with analysis and actionable responses. There’s an engagement there, but also the goal to implement long-term strategy changes based on what you’re learning. 

When navigating a difficult economy, social listening is that much more important. The behaviors and concerns of your target audience are constantly evolving, but even more so during a recession. Your job then is to understand that and address that with your content.

How is the economic downturn affecting your customers’ families, jobs and personal lives? How can your brand help?

Check out nine of the best social listening tools for brand marketing.

In conclusion

Remember that during an economic recession, it’s easy to panic. But instead of slashing all your marketing spending, be bold with your content and spend in a smart way to reach your audience. Keep in mind that content can be much more affordable and effective than billboards and TV commercials.

Content marketing works during a strong economy, but it especially works during a struggling economy.

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

As you explore how to better connect with your audience during a recession, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, such as automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.

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