Australia may not technically be in recession, but there is little doubt things are precarious. Economic growth is weak, there are record levels of household debt, house prices continue to fall, retail is struggling, finance is difficult to secure and there is much on the world stage to be concerned about.
As a digital marketing agency, we deal daily with many different businesses and it’s increasingly common to hear stories of falling revenue, tighter budgets and increased uncertainty.
If you’re a marketer or a business owner, the obvious question is what should you be doing if things get worse and Australia does indeed fall into recession?
It’s likely that as times get harder the things that have worked for your marketing previously may start to struggle. Often the response to this challenge takes two forms. Both are symptoms of panicked rather than strategic thinking:
If these were the actions you were about to take, take a deep breath and read on. There really is no room for panic if you want to get this right.
A knee jerk reaction to cutting marketing budgets usually means that a company sees marketing as simply an expense rather than an investment. If you’re an in-house marketer reading this article, it’s possible this is how your managers see marketing currently.
If marketing costs your company money, but you get nothing from it, then you’re doing it wrong. You shouldn’t have needed a recession to trigger the decision to cut marketing dollars. You should have done it ages ago.
But if marketing is doing its job, it’s an investment. That is, for every dollar you put in, you will further down the line, get more money back. How much more depends on your industry and your marketing smarts.
But if your marketing is working as an investment, and you cut it, two things will happen.
OK so let’s recap. There is a good chance your current marketing is not working as well as previously as a result of tough economic times. And we’ve agreed that panicking is probably not in your best interests. So what’s left?
That’s right. A recession, or even just bad economic times in your industry, is often a great opportunity for those willing to think their way through the challenges. There are customers out there to be won, you just need to make sure it’s you doing the winning, and not your competitors.
So, here’s the plan:
So the answer to the question of how to approach marketing in a recession?
Be smart and deliberate. And remember that first and foremost, good marketing is an investment that is critical to the future health of your company. If you want to thrive, it’s part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Recessions can be tough – but you can come out of them a much stronger and more profitable business if you see the big picture and position yourself to benefit from it.
If you think we can help, or even just answer your questions, get in touch. Rocket can provide effective marketing audits, strategic plans and, as a full-service digital marketing agency, strategy and execution across a broad range of channels.
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