Procter & Gamble shows that increasing spending during a recession is worth it.
Understand your audiences.
Engage through socially aware, poignant and timely communications.
Leverage relevant trends impacting on your category.
A downturn, a lull, a slump, a recession – call it what you will. We’re in rough economic waters, and if businesses are going to right the ship, then they’ll have to change tactics and consider new ways they can create value through proactive and strategic marketing tactics.
Recessions may be seen as harmful, but they also provide lots of opportunities to evolve and strengthen your connection with your clients and customers, positioning yourself for growth, and ultimately success when the good times return.
In April 2020, Procter & Gamble made the decision to ‘double down’ on their marketing spend despite the COVID-19 downturn. This decision to increase rather than cut their spending allowed them to maintain dialogue with customers, and remain front of mind. An article published in the UK Campaign Live shows that P&G’s decision paid off, with the 12% increase in ad spending fuelling a 6% growth in organic sales. P&G’s outgoing Chief Executive was quick to attribute the growth in sales and the company’s share price to his team’s winning strategy and top-class execution.
Research from the Boston Consulting Group reinforces the view that dropping anchor when times are tough can actually end up costing your business more in the long run. Marketing spend is especially important, to make sure that customers are still thinking about your brand.“Companies that injudiciously slash marketing spending [in a recession] often find that they later must spend far more than they save in order to recover,” write David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter in their piece for the Harvard Business Review.
Some tips from Thirst Creative to assist you in your marketing efforts to ride out the recession
There is an opportunity for brands to be socially conscious and consider the role they can play in the community. During tough times, don’t abandon your customers. Keep talking to them because if you don’t, someone else will. Whether it be through short video, a revised social media strategy, or an updated Tone of Voice, small tweaks can totally change your direction of travel.
As we feel the pinch of rising costs of living, we expect the brands we’ve built relationships with to be there when we need them. Research shows that 58% of consumers demand support from brands to get through a period of economic instability (WGSN). So be authentic and genuine about your involvement in the community. Demonstrating interesting and unique ways of providing value is a sure way to gain traction and attention.
Whilst you should never lose sight of your core promise and always keep your eyes firmly fixed on the horizon, don’t miss the opportunities to leverage current trends to upgrade your relationships with your customers. Here are two to get you started:
Reward your most loyal customers with rewards and programs. Show that you empathise to build further trust.
Seek strategic partners to leverage alignment and increase reach, and collaboratively meet the needs of shared customers.
Reach out to us if you need help mapping your clients’ and consumers’ needs, addressing your unique challenges, and for more ideas about how to craft impactful marketing strategies that will enable your business to emerge even stronger from the current storm.