If you’ve read the news at all recently, you’re likely to have heard that the UK is heading for a significant economic recession. In fact, some are arguing that the UK is in for its longest downturn since the 2008 financial crisis.

It’s quite possible that this news has you concerned about the future of your small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME), and you may be tempted to start cutting costs wherever possible. One such line item that many business owners and entrepreneurs tend to slice down first is their marketing budget.

However, cutting down on your marketing during a downturn is a serious mistake.

Instead, you should be re-examining your marketing strategies and adjusting them to your customers’ changing needs. Containing costs is certainly wise at this time, but your marketing shouldn’t suffer as a result.

Our company has survived two recessions and multiple Covid-19 lockdowns, and we’d like to share our top tips with you for recession-proofing your business.

Outsource your marketing to a virtual team

A core part of your marketing budget goes toward hiring a team of experts to carry out all your marketing activities for you. Hiring an in-house marketing team is expensive. Not only do you have to pay for their chairs, desks, and laptops, but you also have to pay them competitive salaries and cover their sick and paid leave.

A far more affordable alternative to an in-house marketing team is to outsource the function to a virtual marketing team.

Outsourcing your marketing essentially means working through a reputable virtual digital marketing agency to hire an individual or a team of marketing experts to become an extension of your existing marketing team. Doing so is more cost-effective as you don’t have to pay for any employee-related costs other than a monthly fee paid to the agency. These fees are usually significantly lower than what you’d pay for a fully-fledged on-site marketing team.

You can outsource your marketing to a highly-trained virtual marketing manager or even to an outsourced social media manager. Additionally, virtual digital marketing agencies can usually give you access to digital marketing specialists like paid campaign managers and web developers.

Optimise your marketing based on recession psychology

Instead of leaving your marketing as your last priority during the recession, now is the time to use your marketing to your benefit.

Let’s first unpack the psychological state of consumers during a recession so you can better understand how to use your marketing to appeal to them.

Understand consumer psychology 

When we’re not in a recession and consumers feel confident and positive about the future, they’re far more likely to be prepared to part with their hard-earned money. They live lifestyles where spending is more fluid and often spur-of-the-moment.

However, when a recession sets in, consumers become far less confident about the future and far less likely to spend money. They will adjust their spending in all areas of their lives as they have no idea what the future holds and will want to bank as much money as they can until things turn around.

Position yourself as essential

This is where your marketing needs to change on a fundamental level. Rather than selling your customers a lifestyle – the ‘good life’ – you need to show them that you care deeply about them and that you’re doing all that you can to provide as much value as possible.

It’s important that your business understands that your customers are facing piling bills, shrinking nest eggs, and possibly even earning less than before. Once you’ve taken this on board, you can determine how to best position your product or service so that it feels like it’s still an essential purchase to your customers.

Wrapping up on recession-proofing your SME 

If you’re looking for ways to cut costs without forgoing your marketing, it’s time to consider outsourcing to a virtual digital marketing team. We understand the intricacies of marketing during a national recession and how consumers’ psychological states affect their purchasing decisions, and we can tailor your marketing strategy and activities accordingly. Visit our website to speak to a consultant about your outsourced marketing needs.

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Download our free guide and learn what digital marketing is. We’ll share some of our insider tips and tricks on how to get started and stand out from the crowd.

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