Depending on who you ask, we are heading into a deflationary spiral, a worldwide economic collapse, a market correction, or a painful contraction.
From a marketing standpoint, as long as we are not headed to full a Zimbawe-esque collapse, we should be thinking about how to get customers now and in the future.
My question, which makes more sense:
Spending $100k per month when customers are buying, media is costly, competitors saturate the market, and labor is expensive or spending $100k per month when customers need to be sold, media cost is negotiable, competitors are fearful, and labor is the cheapest it has been in decades?
Even George Bush could answer this question. Now is the time to S-P-E-N-D!
Customers Need to be Sold
Everybody wants a good deal, and in a deflationary spiral, customers will continue to hold out believing that costs will continue to drop. Why buy a new car now when in six months GM will be in bankruptcy court and liquidating their assets?
To combat the spiral, marketers need to instill a sense of urgency or exclusivity in buyers. Customers are not going to run out and buy your product unless they have a reason. Customers need to be convinced. Go out and convince them.
Media Costs are Negotiable
Here, the poor economy works in the favor of marketers. Customers need to be sold, and media buyers are no exception. Make your service rep work for your business. Radio stations, newspapers, and online publishers are universally hurting, and now is the time to ask for a reduction in rates or an increase in services.
In an economic downturn, your existing marketing budget can be stretched much further. Incorporate a variety of strategies. Test out new strategies such as social media outreach or guerilla marketing.
Competitors are Fearful
As your competitors slash marketing budgets and cut marketing staff, they create a void. They are no longer messaging to potential customers. They rely on their brand and past marketing to fill the vacancy.
Bad idea for them, but a great opportunity for you and your company. Fill the void with your company’s message. Change customers’ minds when you don’t have to fight a competitor’s message.
Labor is Cheap
If you are on board with the above concept, allow me to take it one step further. Now is not only the time to market; it is the time to build. Been waiting to revamp the company website, launch a corporate blog, or build Facebook application? Have a potentially lucrative side project that has been repeatedly set aside? Get on it.
With unemployment likely to approach double digits across the country, cheap labor is amply available. You don’t even have to go across the pond to developing countries. IT, web development, usability experts, strategic consultants are all available in your town, ready and willing to meet and discuss your project.
The blood is in the streets. Time to spend.