The U.S. GDP advanced at 2.6% in the Q3 of 2022, contrary to the growth forecast of 2.3%. Despite promising growth, businesses need highly effective growth strategies, with the consistent possibility of a recession. This possibility of recession cannot be ruled out when we consider other pertinent problems like interest hikes, rising inflation, and continuing unemployment in the country.
The anticipation of an economic slowdown has caught businesses off guard while they gear up to face the brunt of it. But what remains surprising is the general tendency of companies to slash marketing budgets when economic downturns result in lower sales and revenue losses for them.
Cutting down on the marketing budget and restructuring the marketing budget judiciously to adjust to economic fluctuations are two very different approaches with different outcomes. The latter approach ensures long-term sustainability for your business.
Dos and Don’ts of Marketing During a Recession
Let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts for growth marketing strategies in times of recession and how businesses should keep up in these hard times.
- Use strategic marketing automation to accelerate data collection, processing, analysis, and insight generation
- Get rid of marketing bloatware – software and tools that do not enhance your marketing effectiveness
- Consider bringing outside marketing help to brainstorm innovative approaches and optimize current campaigns
- Repurpose your current marketing budget for contextual and targeted marketing efforts
- Focus on the competitive landscape and see what competitors are doing to market effectively during recession
- Have an open mind for hit-or-miss scenarios and establish an experiment-based approach for maximized results
- Don’t invest in tools without understanding how they impact your marketing outcomes
- Don’t spend money on advertising without enough data to support your advertising expense allocation
- Don’t confine yourself to a rigid marketing playbook that does not reflect changing marketing dynamics
- Don’t under utilize your website and its power to support other marketing efforts
- Don’t be impatient, jumping from one strategy to another without giving them enough time to generate data and provide valuable insights
- Don’t get discouraged when results are underwhelming; use the data you collect to fine-tune and optimize future marketing activities and campaigns
6 Business growth strategies to stand out in the recession
The current economic recession has significantly impacted businesses, with many struggling to stay afloat. However, businesses can use several growth strategies to ensure their continued success and growth during this difficult time. Here are six business growth strategies to help your business stand out in the recession –
1. Reconstruct your marketing budget
Reducing business costs should never involve cutting corners or reducing the quality of your overall offering, including customer service. Instead, you should seek ways to cut unnecessary fat to reduce financial risk and waste.
For example, you could negotiate more flexible terms with your suppliers to still meet customer commitments without things piling up in the warehouse before being sold. Fine-tuning your sales forecast can help you find a sweet spot between supply and demand, resulting in steadier cash flow.
Also, review your business’s operating costs, such as your commercial energy plan or insurance coverage.
2. Create effectiveness in your marketing Process
Consumers spend eight hours a day online. By now, we’re mostly preaching to the converted when we explain how important it is to have a robust online presence that attracts qualified leads. It’s as simple as this: email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and paid advertising give businesses unlimited access and opportunities to connect with current and new customers online.
Your client base spends a lot of time online, so you must invest in a business strategy that makes your company visible on digital platforms and channels.
There are a dozen reasons, from proving legitimacy and reducing costs to improving visibility. However, ultimately it boils down to sales.
Over 50% of customers start their journey down the sales funnel on Google search. This is why prominence on multiple channels maximizes customer engagement and helps you capture your market share effectively.
93% of consumers use Google to find local service businesses. So, every business from every industry needs an excellent online presence! Before you delve into paid advertising or social media marketing, your business should have a robust, SEO-friendly website that communicates with your target audience and differentiates your business from the competitors.
3. Use different lead magnets
Now that you know any lead magnet you create needs to be focused, fast and foolproof, you may wonder, “What are the different types of lead magnets I can create? And, which types of lead magnets are the best to create during a recession?”
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of lead magnets. As a rule of thumb, avoid creating eBooks. When was the last time you read or even opened up an eBook or PDF version of a book? An eBook takes far too long to consume, could be more focused, and in many ways, even though your audience may be readers, it doesn’t have the quick-win appeal of a great lead magnet. EBooks are unlikely to be the best lead magnet for your message and audience.
4. Focus on organic marketing
Organic marketing is a long-term strategy to improve brand awareness. Rather than providing your audience with targeted ads, you offer valuable and informative content.
It is considered organic growth marketing if you don’t directly spend money to promote your brand. Here are a few examples –
- Blog posts
- Guest posts
- Unpaid social media posts
- Email blasts
- User-generated content
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
People tend to need clarification on how you can still spend money on your marketing campaign and have organic marketing. After all, you will still need to invest in your overall marketing campaign and marketing software. Organic means that you aren’t paying to improve the post itself. Keep in mind that you will see results from organic marketing after a while with paid advertising.
Organic marketing requires time, effort, and dedication to work for your brand. However, once this strategy has become well-established, you will notice an increase in customer acquisition and retention rates.
5.Be creative in using distribution communities
How much time and care you put into building your growth strategy, outlining your editorial plans and processes, or crafting persuasive, engaging, a high-quality copy is inconclusive if you don’t distribute them effectively. Your brand’s potential for success often lives or dies through your distribution and promotion choices. You can use different distribution channels like Telegram, Quora, Reddit, etc., but distribution should be orderly and regularly reevaluated. The distribution strategy is falling if customers are not happy with delivery times. Distribution channels are more than just the movement of physical products from place to place. They are the roads that carry your brands to success, and they must be well-maintained and improved upon to be effective. No matter how great your product is or how influential your marketing is, your business can only thrive if the product you promise to deliver.
6. Focus on content marketing
Digital sourcing continues to grow as an emerging crop of managers prefer digital channels to find solutions. A rising preference for self-service channels is riding on this trend. Marketers can capitalize on this trend by embracing content marketing and publishing more content targeting the middle and bottom of the funnel to emphasize value, build relationships, and shorten the conversion cycle. The focus should be on content types used to research B2B purchasing decisions: case studies, white papers, SEO blog posts/articles, reports/analyses, and eBooks, in order of priority.
An overview of the business growth strategies in times of recession
To remain profitable with your business growth strategies, you must
- Embrace an offensive and opportunistic approach. Taking advantage of an opportunity is different from exploiting it. It is always better to choose the latter.
- Your marketing budget should be increased, and your growth marketing strategies should be expanded to increase business.
- Reduce the performance of 20% of your worst-performing customers to free up internal resources.
- Customer loyalty and customer retention can be improved by improving customer experience.
- Streamline your operations processes to increase efficiency, allowing your team to handle your increased customer base’s needs.
- Invest in your core staff by eliminating underperforming employees and ensuring they are taken care of. This encourages them to work equally hard for you and the business.
Overall, Effective growth strategies for businesses during recessions are diversifying, leveraging technology, focusing on customer service, cutting costs, expanding into new markets, and investing in marketing. By implementing these strategies, businesses can survive a recession and come out of it stronger than before. It is important to remember that recessions can be difficult, but with the right growth marketing strategies, businesses can become stronger and more successful than ever.