How to market in a Down Economy

October 27, 2008
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The challenge faced by today’s marketer is daunting – the holiday season is approaching, the elections are getting the majority of the airtime with small breaks for bad news to seep in – be it the price of gas or postage rates or bank closing. These rising costs mean more window-shopping, less buying and a general apprehension that’s enough to make the most resilient marketer want to hibernate in hopes of better times… but we have to face realit


The challenge faced by today’s marketer is daunting – the holiday season is approaching, the elections are getting the majority of the airtime with small breaks for bad news to seep in – be it the price of gas or postage rates or bank closing. These rising costs mean more window-shopping, less buying and a general apprehension that’s enough to make the most resilient marketer want to hibernate in hopes of better times… but we have to face reality.

My prediction is that email is going to gain even more prominence this holiday season as it is cheaper to send than direct mail, it is quicker to deliver and can be tracked. To do more via email, marketers need to be careful and not appear alien to their recipients. Start by acknowledging the situation – tell your recipients you empathize with them, that you are aware of the state of the economy and the apprehension we all face. Let them know that you and your co-workers face the same challenges. Kudos to our friends at King Arthur Flour for being one of the first companies to send such a message.

The King Arthur example is just one suggestion – for instance, banks should tell recipients that you’re diligently searching for ways to educate customers, secure their earnings and maximize return. If you are selling something, tell them that your company continues to seek the best product, at the best possible price to help them save. If you are marketing luxury products, remind the consumer about the once in a lifetime opportunity – tell them that by getting away they can relax and return reinvigorated. There are too many ideas to fit into this post, so if you’d like a suggestion for your industry/ specific challenge then reach out… we’re all in this together.
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