We’re living through the worst recession in history – even more severe than the Great Depression. The 20.4 percent contraction in NI and the rest of the UK recorded by the ONS in August is the worst ever for a single quarter.
So what are businesses to do? How can they weather this storm and come out of the other side stronger?
The trick here is to adapt and roll with the punches using clever digital marketing strategies. Individual companies can’t do a lot to resist government shutdowns or profound COVID-19-induced behavioural changes. But they can see where the current is going and sail with it.
In 2020, digital marketing became even more important. With so many brick-and-mortar businesses struggling to operate or even open their doors, the need to sell online is reaching a fever pitch. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon!
So what does a recession-beating digital marketing plan look like for 2021? Here are some of the tactics you need to deploy in the coming weeks and months.
Allocate And Prioritise Your Resources
Recessions are lean times, which means that now more than ever, you need to investigate how you’re using your resources.
Remember, data suggest that only around 44 percent of companies are actively planning their digital marketing strategy. And a staggering 44 percent of remaining brands don’t have a defined plan at all. Most aren’t tracking where their money is going or how people in their organisations are spending it.
In a recession, you rarely know what’s going to happen next. So digital marketing needs to be a part of your continuity plan. You need to have a well-defined strategy in place so that you can reach customers over the internet if you can’t do it in person. And, to do that, you need a list of resources you have available to make it happen.
Balance Your Campaigns With Always-On Activities
Your digital marketing efforts typically fall into two groups: always-on efforts that continue throughout the entire year, and seasonal, short-lived campaigns.
Getting the balance right between each of these is essential when the economy is contracting.
When times are tough, the best thing to do is invest in the long-term perceptions of your brand. People don’t have the money or will to shop right now. But once the economy pulls around the governments remove the restrictions, people will flood back. And you want to position your business to win the new demand.
Campaigns might be suitable for some businesses, though. Survival-orientated companies, for instance, might want to capitalise on a potential boom in sales brought about by the current situation. And so too will companies that offer online services, as these are likely going to remain popular over the coming months.
Review Gaps In Your Digital Marketing Strategy
The perfect digital marketing strategy is one that appeals to customers in each phase of the buying cycle. Ideally, you want to target different types of customers with messages suitable for their stage in the buying cycle. Social media users, for instance, who’ve never heard of your brand before need awareness marketing that introduces what you do. Users searching for your goods in search engines with intent to buy require direct sales PPC.
Performing a review of your 2021 digital marketing strategy is helpful because it lets you find holes in your approach. You want to ensure that you’re offering valuable touchpoints to all of your prospects at every phase, including those who’ve already bought from you.
Improve Your Buyer Personas
Do you think you know who your ideal buyers are? Think again. Sometimes, you’ll find that your buyer personas can shift dramatically in the space of just a few months. The pandemic is a case in point, so now is the perfect time to check that you’re advertising to the right people.
Boost Your Digital Touchpoints
Using a site you built in the 1990s might be cheap, but it’s not helping your customers. Today’s users expect a slick and professionally-present experience. Enhancing your digital touchpoints (especially if your customers can’t interact with you in person) can help considerably.
Improve Your Tone Of Voice
Branding isn’t just about logos and themes. It’s also about the way that you present yourself. Perhaps the tone of voice you used in your copy was appropriate for several years ago. But maybe times have changed or you now appeal to a different audience with different sensibilities.
Beating this recession isn’t going to be easy. But having a robust digital marketing action plan in place can help your company weather the storm and snapback, once normality returns.