Innovate Through A Recession​

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Buckle up because are all going to go on a wild ride. I believe that a recession is inevitable. In fact, I think we are already in one. The S&P 500 is down over the last 6 months so now we just need economic data to show two consecutive quarters of negative growth. I can’t predict how deep the recession will be but I am sure many will try. In times like these, I like to take an accounting of my own financial well being and act as needed to weather the storm, rather than worry about what the pundits have to say. I’ve lived through a few recessions in my life and I see three things that are always true:

  • Each was different than the last
  • There is always opportunity if you look for it
  • Marketing budgets get cut between 10-20% on average

Back in the 1980’s we had a similar, but not exactly same type of recession. Years after the 1980s recession, a study showed that companies that advertised aggressively during the 1980 recession had sales 256% higher than those that did not continue to run ads. In fact, increasing advertising during a recession has been shown to double market share gains in comparison to boom time, as competitors are more likely to reduce their spend, thereby creating an opportunity for you to get ahead. If others are ramping down, ramp up if you can.

This is where the opportunity exists for the brands with guts. Times are very different now when it comes to marketing. For one thing, we didn’t have the Internet back then. I am not suggesting that brands keep doing what they’re doing simply because this is what the data shows. But this could be a pivotal time for many brands, especially DTC brands

Brands today have advanced tools that allow them to shift their strategy on a dime. Gone are the days where brands need to commit millions of dollars for spots or placements that are locked in months or even a year in advance. Brands will need to rethink their strategies and tactics in advance of a full blown recession so they need to start thinking now.

How will your audience shift their purchase behaviour? Will your target audience change and if so, how? Should you try and broaden your audience or focus on the most profitable? Each brand will have their own set of questions to ask themselves and decisions will be hard. Brands that plan rather than react will be the ones that come out on top after the recession.

This is a time where brands can earn the lifetime of loyalty they have been searching for but only if they treat their customers right and empathize with their struggles. A little bit can go a long way in every aspect of the planning process. Here is a list of tactics and technologies that can help brands through a difficult time and help them thrive well into the next bull market:

  • Keep up with your competitors inventory and pricing changes everywhere they sell: Algopix by Cluster
  • Make sure your bots are up to speed with customer questions and needs: Dashbot
  • Provide 1:1 video shopping experiences to engage and convert shoppers so they don’t leave: Feel
  • Speak to the masses with contextualized/Personalized audio creative while measuring for success: Frequency
  • Increase AOV and Revenue through co-selling with zero inventory risk: Honeycomb Commerce
  • Make every display and video ad dynamic and relevant so users stop scrolling and click or watch: Hunch
  • Measure media performance accurately and connect results to actual revenue: Measured
  • Predict bounces and speak to shoppers before they abandon your site or cart with the right message: Metrical 
  • Find new customers and bid more efficiently on Amazon and Instacart: NimbleAds 
  • Learn granular details about your high value customers so you can find more of them, anywhere: ProfitWheel
  • Personalize email and update messages at the moment of open: Zembula
  • Modernize your loyalty program for every channel and action: Zinrelo