We may be in the midst of a recession, but not all is doom and gloom. In fact, it’s important to remember that many of the largest companies around today were started during depression eras. In fact, the Great Depression created more millionaires than any economic times to date.
The Federal Government defines a recession when we experience two consecutive quarters of negative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. What this translates to the business owner is a general slowdown in business activity and consumer spending – but it doesn’t have to be that way for you.
Hope is still there for the small business owner – companies who spend wisely during economic slowdowns can actually thrive and come out of recession periods stronger than ever (think Microsoft, GM – not the current GM, but the one 10 years ago, General Mills). The key to working a slow economy to your favor is simple: take advantage of your competitor’s cutbacks by marketing aggressively. Companies that continue to spend on direct marketing will continue to grow, even during a recession. Because many business owners reduce or eliminate advertising budgets during slow economic times there are fewer companies competing for business. Which translates into a higher impact on your marketing. If there are fewer businesses competing for a fixed market, odds are in your favor that any advertising efforts will have a higher impact, allowing you to capture a greater portion of the market.
The important thing to remember during economic slowdowns is that consumers don’t stop spending. They may look for better a better deal or be more selective which whom they spend there money, but they are still buying the goods and services they both want and need. This is why it’s also important to focus your marketing efforts on customer retention, not just acquisition. Use your advertising budgets to find ways to show your customers how well your business is doing – or the savings you’re providing them. Keeping in front of your clients in this fashion will add additional value to the products and services you provide. Cutting back budgets and reducing your exposure can cause clients to feel abandoned, create a sense of financial mistrust or a lack of staying power.
Turn off the news and put on your marketing cap. Brand your way to a bigger, better business.