It is clear to the business community of Fort McMurray that with the price of oil, we are all experiencing challenging economic times. The question that many of us are facing is; how are we going to weather this storm and come out still afloat?
Let’s first realize that consumers do not go away during a down economy, they just become more selective. For many companies, marketing is the first thing to be cut during tough financial times. The reality is that you want to make sure your company is remembered by the customers who are still shopping! It is also important to make sure that your current customers know that you’ll be there when they are ready to buy.
We will not always be in a position of a down economy and people do still shop during tough times, they are just looking for the best value. You want to make sure your call to action is already placed in front of the consumer when they are ready to buy. Maintaining market identity costs less than rebuilding later on.
Some things to consider while marketing your brand during tough economic times:
- Concentrate on core values; reinforce brand value by demonstrating a strong consistency of message.
- Start sponsoring, engaging in community events, cross promoting, cause marketing… Look for alternative ways your brand message can be spread.
- Make sure your brand can be found online for customers who are ‘researching’ and that your website’s ‘look and feel’ reflects your brand.
- Think of ways to adjust your products and messages to reinforce their ‘value’ during tough times.
“Consumers don’t stop buying when economies go through down cycles. They look harder for value,” said Saatchi & Saatchi’s Kevin Roberts, writing for Advertising Age magazine.
The bottom line is, cutting spending on marketing during a down turned economy may help with short-term profitability but does not position your business for long-term results.