In this down economy advertisers are going to have change their messaging. And the more quickly they do, the better off their numbers will become.
Here are a few common sense guidelines for marketing in a recession:
1. Stress the VALUE PROPOSITION of your products or services, rather than features and benefits. Think about how your brand will make a significant difference to your audience in terms they will value and understand. Consider the success of Walmart’s Save Money. Live Better campaign. Talk about throwing a value proposition out there for everyone to see and grab hold of, huh?
2. Make price messaging secondary to longevity, savings achieved over the lifetime of ownership, hand-me-down-ability, and real-user and professional product / satisfaction reviews. When pennies get pinched, shoppers look for those products and services that will give them extended value for money, not the quick fix. If your product lasts longer, say so. If it cuts other expenses, tout it. Think of all the great messaging that helps a person rationalize purchasing a product that is employed by successful infomercials. Could your brand promotion use a little more Shamwow?
3. Emphasize how your offerings will help them “get back to basics” of thrift and frugality. In the age of consumerism everyone wanted to “keep up with the Jones'”, now everyone will want to “out-frugal” one another. Making less do more is fast becoming trendy. Consumption of oil and gas has continued to decrease even as prices are falling through the floor. The retail sector has seen a dismal drop since October ’08. People are spending less and using credit less. Meals at home are more frequent and the list goes on and on. Being frugal is now a virtue and being cheap is noble. Your messaging should mirror those values.
4. When belts tighten, advertising and promotional messaging becomes more scrutinized and offers and discounts get shopped. Be sure to make your advertising simple, creative and most of all honest. Savvy shoppers will now sift through all the mediums and take plenty of time researching their options prior to making a large purchasing decision. Be sure your messaging is believable and of honest value if you expect to attract shoppers this upcoming year.
Here’s to a great new year! Yes, it will be challenging for marketers and agencies, but the opportunities to build brands and champion categories like never before!
Author: Mr. Timo Matero, Founder and Director, Accelerator Advertising, Inc.