Four marketing opportunities you can take advantage of in a tough economy.

Recessions bring fear and uncertainty to both businesses and consumers. While some believe hard times merit putting marketing on the back burner, this mentality is aging out, and for good reason. 

According to the 2018 B2B Marketing Mix report from Sagefrog, 67% of companies surveyed identified lead generation as their top marketing objective. Which begs the question, why push something as important as lead generation to the side during times when maintaining, and even growing your business, is extremely important? 

Instead of throwing in the towel, modern marketers suggest viewing economic difficulties as opportunities. Challenging times may serve as a unique way to generate leads while making a lasting impression. Keep reading to learn more about some of the opportunities for lead generation that a recession may offer you.

Opportunity #1: Address Recession-Related Needs

Your audience is potentially running into problems directly related to the recession. How can your business offer peace of mind?

One option would be to create content or marketing campaigns that specifically answer that question. Explain to your audience how your offerings help those who are likely hurting because of finances.

Even if there is no direct relationship between your services and the recession, you may be able to acknowledge your audience’s experiences and find common ground, either through thoughtful offerings or relatable content. Doing so can help your brand seem not only authentic, but memorable.

Take Mailchimp for example. In 2001, the company’s target market was corporate clients with yearly retainers. When the Great Recession hit, the risk of losing customers heightened. To cope, Mailchimp offered their basic platform services for free. As a result, their loyal following blossomed from 85,000 to 450,000.

Opportunity #2: When Competitors Market Less, You Stand Out 

During these times, consider taking advantage of the strong possibility that your competitors may be pausing or holding off on advertising. This unique market not only makes it easier to stand out, but also provides your business with the opportunity to fulfill needs that would otherwise go unmet.

For many, a recession may not seem like the best time to invest, as the future seems uncertain and money may be deemed a better use elsewhere. Consequently, financial service companies tend to slow advertising, or at the very least, have an awkward time marketing. 

Fortunately, The Motley Fool, a multimedia financial services company, saw this lull in competitor offerings as an opportunity. In fact, the business has been guiding audiences through this period of economic instability with high-quality content, such as videos regarding the best safety stock in a rough market. They encourage their clients to expand portfolios, as Motley Fool positions itself as the right financial service provider to do so with. In the process, the company has gained impressive views while building a strong client base.

Opportunity #3 Improve the Home Experience

Consumers are less indulgent during financially challenging times. This could mean going out less and skipping trips and vacations in an effort to spend less. Ultimately, people are more likely to spend time at home. This serves as an opportunity to make the home experience more enjoyable. If there is a way for your business to do that, don’t hesitate to offer home-bound solutions.

For example, U.S. customers are currently seeking creative ways to find frequently needed products, without breaking the bank. While grocery stores, and the products within them, decrease their regular advertising, Boxed, an online wholesale retailer, is stepping in to help with its new campaign, “The Value of Boxed.”

With this campaign are ads that highlight the value of buying in bulk, especially when it comes to purchasing necessities like groceries and household essentials. In the process, this new brand is enjoying new customers because it opted to fulfill needs other storefronts could not. 

Opportunity # 4 Offer Discounts

Consumers are likely to be on the lookout to save money during tough financial times. Discounts and special offers will be sought, and you can orient your marketing accordingly. Create content that brings attention to your greatest deals. Even better, showcase how your solutions could help customers save money down the road.   

The Benefit of Marketing During a Recession

While there may be reasons to reduce your marketing budgets during recession, there are still ways to maximize your advantages even though you may have fewer dollars to work with. Decreasing your marketing spend may cost you brand awareness, drop your search result ranking, and risk brand loyalty, making it easy for competitors to take your place in the market.

All told, marketing in the midst of a recession can help your brand remain relevant to loyal customers while generating leads. This is especially true when you craft content that addresses your audience’s recession-related needs. So don't fret. Even if tough times are on the horizon, there are still ways to plan for the future in ways that make your brand more stable.