In our previous posts, we have established that the credit crunch offers the company formation and SME sector numerous opportunities. But what impact has the recession had on the sort of marketing campaigns businesses are running? Aggressive discounts and sales have become the way forward for many brands, but is this sort of promotion the right strategic fit for your brand ?In this post we take a look the importance of getting the message right.
Right place, right time, right price
In an economic downturn, a business’ objectives are different .Well planned and effective marketing strategies will evolve and react to these changes. Many small businesses switch their growth strategy for a survival plan. Staff security, cash flow, and debtors are prioritised over long term planning and as the market continue on its descent, customers will become increasingly intolerant of shallow gimmicks and spend their hard earned cash on familiar brands with integrity. Though, as we have already established, this context of conservatism and decreased consumer spending poses a number of challenges to the advertising industry, it also offers small businesses the chance to develop stronger relationships with their existing consumer base and enter into a dialogue with new customers.
“Gone are the days of a faceless brand” says Charlie Richards, CEO of Marketing Consultants Richards Results. “In a climate dictated by insecurity, consumers are looking for brands who communicate to them creatively and with an integrity that is in keeping with these harsh economic times.”
“The broadcast market is grossly over populated with aggressive discounts and obnoxious ‘one day only’ ‘everything must go’ promotions. Don’t be tempted to throw away your brand integrity and join them.”
Though there are bargains available in broadcast media make sure you don’t abandon the brand identity you have worked so hard to build. Treat it like any other marketing activity, look at the audience you want to attract and ensure your campaign ticks all the right boxes. Regardless of how good a deal or what the communication medium is, the question in your mind should remain the same; “What will my ROI be.”
Ultimately, what Richards concludes is this; though the culture of consumerism may have changed, your marketing objectives should not. Though the advertising market is saturated with bargains and, as a result, mediums many SME’S could not previously afford , are now within their reach, it is important that business owners assess if the medium is right for their brand.
Return on investment has always been a buzz word for marketers; however in times of recession, when consumers are spending less and less, there is even more pressure to ensure that each marketing campaign directly leads to sales.