If for no other reason than I am a persistent observer of life I saw examples of recession marketing in the spring of 2008.
In other articles I have shared some of the reasons for recession marketing and how this form of marketing is different. To bring this into perspective let me just say that when the economy is good you will find that advertising (marketing) appeals to your sense of personal taste and desires. When the economy is poor marketing needs to center on quality and value.
One of the advertisements that vividly demonstrated that company marketers had a clear understanding that things needed to change was an advertisement for a family sized vehicle.
This advertisement talked about a better-known competitor. They pointed out that their vehicle cost several thousand dollars less than the competition. Instead of pointing out the many things a person could buy with six thousand dollars this company had grocery carts filled with food and indicated the savings on their vehicle would provide food for a family for a year.
Another advertisement deals with the phone connections between people. In this case it was the difference between VoIP and other forms of connection. The phone company that uses VoIP demonstrated a multitude of features and a price that was about a fourth of the cost of other phone competition. They further demonstrated that the competition did not provide similar features in their basic package. What they were trying to do was point out that for 25% of the cost consumers could actually find greater value.
Marketing during an economic downturn is all about siding with the people who are keenly aware they need to reduce spending or need to derive the greatest long-term value from the product being purchased.
This translates to your business website. Can you think of ways to enhance the marketing aspect of your ecommerce site to reflect your understanding of tough times and the need for value?
Subtle shifts in your marketing strategy can help align you with the mood of your potential customers. Can you find freebies you can pass along to your customers? This could be a new networking opportunity for you as you work with other businesses to promote their non-competing products by providing value added free sample as part of your customer’s orders.
The role of recession marketing shouldn’t be viewed as an attempt to fool customers into thinking your products are superior, but to point out the things that give your product or service a value that is unique and unexpected in times of financial difficulty.
Marketing is simply finding the best way to get your message out to prospects. What you may discover to be the best way today may not be the best way six months from now. You need to be flexible enough to move in a new direction when necessary. You don’t need to overplay desperate times. In fact there was absolutely nothing in the two examples above that indicated this was a response to the economy. There may not be a need to remind customers that things are bad. Simply point to the value and quality of what you offer, make the message easy to understand from a financial point of view and see if things don’t improve in online sales