3 minute read.

The recent Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook confirmed that the economic recovery from the coronavirus would be like a game of “snakes and ladders” as businesses attempt to return to “normal” activity. The report said the recession would affect every sector and would force many businesses to rethink their business models.

The COVID-led recession, unlike the global recession in 2008 is driven by behaviour change around social distancing rather than being market-led. Recovery will involve enduring shifts in recovery. These shifts, although born out of the crisis, will become the new normal – thus “snakes and ladders” seemingly with one step forward and two steps back.

Over the coming months, businesses need to respond to a variety of unexpected demands and implement cost-savings measures to cope with the recession and ongoing, subdued capacity levels.

But how do executive leaders manage the balance between cutting to survive today and still investing to be able to grow tomorrow? And how can businesses fine tune brand and marketing plans, so that they propel, rather than undermine performance?

Faced with a behaviour-driven recession that will favour the brave and the flexible, here are four areas for businesses to consider when plotting out marketing plans which maintain momentum and seek out opportunities for longer term growth.

  1. How are customers changing their behaviours and how do we support these? Successful marketing starts with understanding human buying behaviour. Customers are adjusting their behaviours at remarkable speed and possibly permanent ways. The first step in responding is to understand customers, their concerns and corresponding needs and define newly emerging customer segments.
  1. What role does brand building play during a recession? Research suggests that companies that focus on brand building during a recession will steal customers off rivals as the economy begins to open up. Businesses can’t afford to be silent during a downturn. Building and maintaining strong brands—ones that customers recognise and trust—remains one of the best ways to reduce business risk. While now may not be the time for a hard sales campaign, businesses will benefit from staying close to their customer and maintaining relevance.
  1. Where to invest your marketing dollar in a downturn? Tough times provide an imperative to cut tactics of little or no return. The challenge is to make well-considered, case-by-case decisions about where to cut spending, where to hold it steady, and even where to increase it. Get focused on those activities which provide more measurable results and balance short term returns with longer term brand growth opportunities.
  1. How can business facilitate high levels of engagement with customers? How to develop lower cost, creative marketing plans? Digital marketing is a cost-effective way of reaching customers at a time when face to face interaction is limited and digital media consumption is increasing. Now is the time to strengthen and expand your digital presence, and ensure you are creating personalised and quality online customer experiences.

Edmonds Marketing delivers well-considered marketing plans and integrated activities based on sound strategy and insights. We assist businesses who need to successfully navigate changing market dynamics due to increasing complexity, competition and customer demands. We also help businesses accelerate to the next level and/ or expand business through new market development.

If you wish to chat with an experienced marketing specialist, get in touch with Damien: damien@edmondsmarketing.com.au 

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Photo sourced from iStock#487568800.