Marketing During an Economic Downturn

Meredith Atlanta About The Author

March 31, 2020 at 9:55 AM

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Why it’s critical to stay connected to your customers during COVID-19 Crisis

During this current time of uncertainty, many businesses are struggling to decide what steps to take next. What do you need to do to protect yourself, your employees and your business? Across the nation, many businesses have closed their doors temporarily while others are operating on a modified schedule or taking different measures to accommodate shoppers.

With all of this change in our business environment, what impact does it have on your marketing?

What’s most important, is that you don't stop marketing your business. In fact, your marketing opportunities will not only keep your business top-of-mind and continue to bring in customers, but it will also provide aid and information that the public is looking for.

Why It's Important to Continue Marketing

During this health crisis, your customers and clients need you more than ever. Many of them are turning to businesses for a sense of normalcy. By creating quality advertisements with reassuring messages, you can help provide that normalcy they’re craving. Continuing your marketing will also help you experience a number of benefits. 

Maintain your momentum. You've worked hard to grow your business and build your marketing platform. Don't lose that! Typically it takes 6 weeks of consistent marketing to become top of mind with potential customers. It only takes 3 weeks for viewers to forget.

Keep your business top of mind. During this time, your company may have fewer customers or possibly temporarily no customers if your industry is considered non-essential. You might see less traffic or struggle to bring in certain types of business. That doesn't mean, however, that you have to watch your company collapse. Your marketing efforts could be the forward momentum that your organization needs to keep functioning and your staff working and motivated.

Serve the public. Your business may be able to offer advice, assistance, or other benefits to potential customers during this period of uncertainty. Your advertising can help provide information about those efforts, such as special financing or delivery services, and how they will continue to positively affect those using your services. If you’re not actively marketing to let the public know that your company is a resource for them during these times, you may miss an opportunity to be of service. 

Offer peace of mind to your employees and customers. Part of marketing in the middle of an economic downturn or crisis includes letting customers and employees alike know that you're doing your part. Your advertisements during this time show that you're aware of what's going on and that you're dealing with it as effectively as you can.

Help boost the economy. Many businesses are worried about the potential economic fallout of the current crisis, especially if its effects continue to linger. Through your advertisements, you can continue to support many of the companies you work with during normal times, including suppliers, radio and television stations. Ultimately, this continued spending can help benefit the economy. 

Remember: This period won't last forever. The advertising efforts you put in now could have immense benefits when things turn around. Customers will remember the businesses that went the extra mile when times were tough, and they'll be more likely to turn to you for their future needs. Ultimately, the businesses that continue to advertise during this period won't have to work as hard to restore and even grow their position when things return to normal.

How to Continue Marketing During the COVID-19 Crisis

Now that you’ve heard the benefits, it’s time to take steps to continue your marketing during this downturn. Make sure that you:

Tailor your message to be sensitive to the times. Show your customers that you're aware of current events and how it may impact them in your on-air and digital advertising. Be sensitive to those concerns.

Inform your customers and clients of the steps that you're taking to remain safe. What are your employees doing differently to help protect both them and your customers? How are you handling this crisis--and how will you continue to handle it in the future?

Think of ways you can customize your business strategy during this period. This might include:

  • A curbside pickup that prevents your customers from having to get out of their vehicles
  • Take-out only services
  • Delivery services that will bring the items your community members need straight to their homes
  • Telehealth services that will allow patients to get vital care without actually needing to come in
  • Video calls and meetings
  • Discounts for those in need
  • Virtual experiences such as test drives and home tours

Be transparent and show empathy. You can't change the current circumstances, but you can show your customers that you're adapting to them swiftly and appropriately. Explain openly with the public how you’re responding to COVID-19 and working to protect them as much as possible through your messaging and customer service.

COVID-19 and Your Business

During this time, it's important to continue your normal marketing efforts as much as possible. Customizing them to be sensitive to your customers' current concerns and challenges can help you retain those customers, win new customers, and ultimately grow your market share. Because the specific messages that you use during this time call for more finesse, consulting with a media partner will ensure the right message will reach your target audience.

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