A downturn is a natural time to focus on core strategy. A recession can be a problem disguised as an opportunity. You can position the brand as an ally to consumers in tough times with product development or sponsorship programs so the consumer can see by its actions that this brand is on his side. That will pay dividends not only during the recession but beyond.
Advertisers in all categories must be in tune with consumers in the current climate. For example, he notes that LG Electronics is backing off its “Life’s Good” slogan. That is not the mood people are in. If you do that, it will generate resentment. You need to fine-tune your message to be sensitive. In challenging times, marketers must also work harder to segment consumers with specific messages.
If, in the past, you used mass media, you probably want to be more targeted now to make sure the message gets to the right people.
Research indicates that combative advertising which targets competitors escalates during an economic downturn. When the marketplace is shrinking, you tend to become a little more competitive in your tone. If you say your competitor is bad and your competitor says you are bad, ultimately the customer thinks both are probably good and bad. They tend to be indifferent. Even in a downturn, if you want to create loyal customers, you do not want to be overly competitive. You want to highlight what you do best and be sensitive to the needs of your customers rather than bashing the competition.
An economic slump may be a time to reconfigure the advertising mix between traditional media and digital or other outlets, depending on the product, brand positioning and overall corporate strategy. You don’t have to put a huge amount of money in the marketplace. Lower cost marketing techniques such as banners, street signs or direct mailing might merit new attention. When times are flush, it is easy to pay a premium for more expensive established media.
All forms of media can be successful even in a recession, although the impact of digital marketing might be easier to quantify and therefore able to withstand the close scrutiny of senior executives demanding justification for any spending while their operations are under recessionary pressures.
Direct marketing and other kinds of interactive communications might be valuable but do not yet deliver easily quantifiable results.
Unfortunately, the industry is still in its early infancy. A lot of people talk about what we are capable of doing in measurability, but no one has established the gold standard yet. Maybe this forthcoming recession will be the chance to catalyse that and make it happen.
The current recession will offer an opportunity for marketers to provide integrated campaigns meshing traditional and digital media. In the last downturn, in 2001, digital marketers were operating out of separate agencies, but today marketers are able to construct fully integrated campaigns.
We have been talking about integration for years, but it’s been a much slower process than expected. It is not sure the recession will accelerate that integration, but those who are well-integrated will start to see some of the benefits.
Marketers during the recession times can concentrate on internet social websites for ensuring that the consumers are getting messages about their products for rationalizing their costs of advertising. The process of information discovery is changing from a solitary activity to a communal activity. The web eventually is becoming entirely social. Today, social computing is something you do at a specific site.
But we are realizing that being social is not a site. It’s a concept. We won’t get to that entirely social web, until we find ways to allow users to do three things: establish a single identity to log on to many sites; share private resources such as photos or contact lists without handing out private credentials (such as an email account password); and distribute information across multiple social applications.
Google Friend Connect, a service that enables websites to easily provide social features for its visitors, incorporates three standards that respectively address each of those problems.
Already you can browse a site like the New York Times or Amazon then write comments and reviews. What all organizations need to prepare for is a completely social web, where users will simply expect to be part of the conversation. This can help marketers to get a feedback from their consumers and may be some good implementable suggestions. Thus economy down turn can create some innovations.