How to Market Effectively Amid Economic Uncertainty in 2023
Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy resembles a chaotic rollercoaster ride that we can’t seem to get off.
As a result, many companies are tightening their budgets and applying heightened scrutiny to their overall business strategies. An area in particular that's sometimes the first to go is marketing, but that can actually cause more harm than good, leading to massive quarter-over-quarter losses
Why it’s Important to Continue Marketing During a Recession
During a time of economic uncertainty, many businesses focus on the “must haves” and marketing doesn’t always seem to make the cut.
This approach is counterintuitive.
Brands need to continue marketing and advertising in order to protect their business in the long run and to thrive during and after the economic downturn, which inevitably will happen. It always does.
Rather than trimming down marketing budgets completely, brands need to be strategic with how — and where — they spend their marketing budgets.
According to The Harvard Business Review, “although it’s wise to contain costs, failing to support brands or examine core customers' changing needs can jeopardize performance over the long term,” further underscoring the need to continue investing in marketing during recessions.
Continuing to market effectively will be the key to coming out of the recession stronger than before. Even in times of economic downturn and uncertainty, there are plenty of cost-efficient and strategic opportunities to engage with customers to build loyalty and attract new leads.
Influencer Marketing Leads to Customer Conversions
One way for retailers to engage with their target audience and build next-level loyalty is to partner with influencers to directly target their core demographic. There's no better way to get in front of people and influence their purchasing power than through leveraging a public figure they already deeply trust. Especially with social media dominating our society and culture. Everyone is always on their phones imagining their dream life and how to achieve their personal goals.
Spending on global influencer marketing is projected to grow 23.4 percent and 15.9 percent year-over-year in 2023 and 2024. This is a direct result of influencers having extremely loyal audiences that highly consider their advice and recommendations. Tapping into this market can help brands thrive and flourish during an economic downturn.
If brands are able to leverage video content — which is absolutely dominating the internet — their message can be spread far and wide to their ideal audience and convert several sales, both in the short and long term.
Content Marketing is a Game Changer
During recessions, it’s important for brands to focus marketing efforts on value-based content to express why the product or service will truly help the customer and why it's worth the investment. This can be done by going back to the basics and creating organic social media posts, email campaigns, blog posts and video content to educate and nurture audiences — which is relatively inexpensive to do. As long as you have someone on your team who can write, you have the means to continue marketing.
Over the last few years many brands have increased their investment in content marketing because it has proven to be one of the most predictable ways to generate a return. People that are tapped into your content sometimes only need a nudge or two before they make the purchase. Never underestimate the power of content marketing.
Here's some data to further prove this point:
- 79 percent of businesses use content marketing to generate quality leads (which is essential to survival during a recession);
- 60 percent of companies that increased their media investments during the last recession saw improvements in return on investment;
- 50 percent of brands that increased their marketing spend during the last recession saw improvements to ROI in back-to-back years; and
- brands that increased their paid advertising during the last recession had a 17 percent increase in their incremental sales.
Brands can leverage user-generated content (UGC) to help build a loyal audience. UGC provides a genuine review from customers that have used the product already which can highlight the benefits of the product over the features, which is key to successful marketing.
Marketing in 2023 Must Be Authentic
Consumers are inundated with so many advertisements and marketing attempts each day that they will only reply to a select few.
Due to the high volume of sales pitches and marketing efforts, consumers can spot a sleazy sales pitch from a mile away, which is why they want to be presented with content that resonates with them naturally and authentically.
A marketer's overall objective in 2023 should be to create more genuine connections with the brand's target audience to trigger irrational loyalty. Ultimately, this can be achieved through influencer marketing, UGC and content marketing.
Jason Pampell founded HireInfluence in 2011 and is an influencer marketing pioneer. He helps clients build brands with his strategic thinking and passion for creating something out of nothing.
Related story: The Value of Advertising During a Recession