With the second quarter of 2022 firmly behind us, we’re just a few days away from knowing for sure that we’re in a recession. If we are, implementing recession marketing tactics will be critical for every business, big and small.
A recession is unofficially defined as two successive quarters of contracting GDP. GDP fell by 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2022, and analysts expect it’ll fall by about 2.1 percent in Q2.
While that’s certainly not great news for US small and mid-sized businesses, the typical panic accompanying such news seems to be virtually nonexistent compared to previous recessions. As crazy as it sounds, a significant majority of small businesses are actually optimistic about withstanding the impending slump. What’s that all about?
Factors Fueling Business Optimism
First, most savvy businesses have suspected this was coming as far back as March, when the price of fuel began to skyrocket, and it became apparent that supply chain shortages weren’t going to improve. This gave businesses some lead time to prepare for the economic downturn and begin implementing strategies to soften its impact.
The second reason is the most intriguing, however. According to a recently released Small Business Recovery Report from Kabbage, a payment service provider affiliated with American Express, 80 percent of small businesses said they believe they can withstand a recession because the pandemic “helped them find a greater sense of resilience” and prepared them for future economic turbulence.
In fact, the report quotes a Kabbage expert as saying, “A number of economic factors are pushing small businesses to prioritize different business components like branding, marketing, and ecommerce.”
Our Reason for Business Optimism
In the leadup to the nationwide quarantine in March 2020, we – like many other small businesses – were fully prepared for the worst. In Pennsylvania, where we are headquartered, the governor announced the shutdown on a Thursday, and we were prepared to have many quick and uncomfortable conversations the following Monday.
But just the opposite happened.
That Monday, our emails blew up, Justin’s phone wouldn’t stop ringing, and we received more emails than we could count. It became abundantly clear very quickly that the economic landscape had changed and the slow, lumbering progression toward digital marketing had taken on a whole new urgency for many people.
We heard from clients we hadn’t worked with in years. Many of them needed stopgap help to develop marketing strategies, get new platforms set up, or refine their messaging. Our existing clients wanted to pour gas on their digital marketing efforts by increasing their client communications and/or overhauling their social media marketing.
Everyone seemed to realize at once that the Internet was just about the only way they could talk effectively with their customers and find new prospects.
The strategies and tactics we helped these businesses implement in 2020 are just as relevant today as they were two years ago. The difference now, is most businesses seem to understand the importance of digital marketing and have embraced the changes necessary to achieve success online.
The Way Forward for Small Businesses
Resiliency, grit, and determination are the hallmarks of the American spirit, and they are the distinctive characteristics that keep American small businesses at the forefront of the global economy. After all, if we can withstand a global pandemic, we’re sure as hell not going to let a little thing like a recession keep us down.
To that end, these recession marketing tactics can help ensure your business not only withstands the looming stagnation but thrives during it.
Develop a clear and actionable marketing strategy.It’s time to take a deep dive into the foundation of your brand and begin focusing on the things that matter most. Identify your differentiators. Review your messaging. Set goals. Your marketing strategy will guide you through the economic storm and allow you to pivot when necessary. Not sure where to begin? This blog should help.
Start building your content library (or beefing it up).Whether it’s your blogs, your case studies, or your website copy, take a look at the words on your website and ask yourself if they’re performing the way they should. Conduct keyword research, look at your Google Analytics, and start creating content that answers the questions your audiences are asking.
Get active on social media with relevant and compelling content.Social media is so ubiquitous that even mentioning it seems trite. That said, you’d be surprised by how many businesses don’t do it well. Review these 8 common social media mistakes and be sure to avoid them.
Implement an email marketing plan.If you don’t do anything else on this list (and please do it all), make sure email is not overlooked. We’ve discussed ad nauseum how important email marketing is to growth, but it often an afterthought for many small businesses. It takes time, for sure, but the ROI is ridiculous.
Every business is different, of course, and every business has unique needs and challenges. When it comes to marketing in an economic downturn, however, these recession marketing tactics are tried and true.