Business Continuity in Recession

23 March 2020
Business continuity in recession

At Mash Media, we are aware that for many businesses the future looks a little different from what was planned. Different doesn’t have to be a bad thing, in many cases it can be used to change direction, discover new marketing frontiers and improve on those we are already utilising. Times of uncertainty can generate creativity, bring out strengths we didn’t know we had and can be the foundation of a new way of doing things.

We, as humans are often at our best when a curveball comes our way, we rally together, share ideas and strategies and adapt to our new environment. Let’s stop for a moment and think about how we can turn this uncertain time to our advantage by working together. We would love to help you by reviewing your current marketing strategies and getting our creative juices flowing to find new ways for you to do business by increasing your online presence.

Why Should I Continue Marketing During a Recession?

While this uncertain period isn’t a traditional recession; it’s definitely new territory where many businesses will be unable to trade or have their trade reduced in a significant way. Economic decisions are being made based on the bottom line and the marketing budget is often one of the first to be cancelled or reduced. If we look at historic recessions and the brands that survived in those make or break times we can see that a strategy driven marketing plan saw them through. By bucking the trend and continuing to place themselves in the minds of their customers, businesses can turn things around and survive this difficult time.

Kellogg’s Vs Post

In the 1920s USA, two cereal brands were vying for attention in the pre-packaged cereal market. Post, and Kellogg’s. During the Great Depression, many companies and businesses were cancelling or reducing their manufacture and advertising. Post Cereals did the intuitive thing and scaled back completely in order to stem projected losses.

Kellogg’s did the opposite. They saw an opportunity. They saw reduced noise in their industry and more importantly, they realised that throughout this recession, people still wanted to eat breakfast. They amped up their marketing so that they would be the brand on everyone’s mind when it came to cereal. Post never recovered from this period, but now 100 years later, we’re still buying Rice Bubbles.

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Pepsi Vs Coca Cola

The cola wars have most people firmly on one side or the other, but the rivalry goes beyond taste and price (although the story of why Coke was 5c for over 70 years is a good one).

When Pepsi started up, Coke was already a favourite, selling a million gallons a year, and had cornered the take-home soda market. By marketing to a different socio-economic group, Pepsi competed and made its way into the market. Unfortunately, during WWII, Pepsi went bankrupt as people in that segment had rationing, or had actually gone to war.

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How did Pepsi bounce back? 

Innovation. They continued to advertise, and created the first ever ad jingle, called ‘Pepsi-Cola Hits the Spot’ and distributed it to jukeboxes all over the USA. Around the same time, the owner of Pepsi bought it’s own sugar plantations to offset rationing in the wake of the war. This meant they could sell double the amount of soft drink as Coca Cola for the same price. A fun side note, Pepsi changed its colours to that of the American flag to support the troops, and started using aluminum cans for cheaper transit costs to the military overseas.

Is This an Opportunity for Your Business to be First in Mind?

This doesn’t mean you need to double your spend or even increase it at all – what it means is getting creative with the budget you have. Many of your competitors will be feeling the pinch and will drop out of the advertising race, leaving an opportunity for you to make noise in a quiet market. Our country isn’t in complete lockdown – people still need essential services. Thinking outside the box about how you can market to the customers you can still service, and to others who need your products or services is a great start.

  • Change the conversation about your product or service; how might it benefit people in these uncertain times?
  • Incentivise your brand. What future or current benefits can you offer to new and existing customers that can ensure future loyalty?
  • If your industry is cutting back as a whole, fill the silence with your messaging. When potential customers know you have their backs it can be beneficial to them and to you.

How Can We Help?

At Mash Media, we have a history of doing a lot with a little. Tell us about your current marketing plan and we will work with you to maximise your impact during this difficult time. We are offering a free marketing review for businesses concerned about the impact the pandemic will have on their business. We are committed to ensuring our clients are getting the best value from their marketing in this challenging time. What can we do for you? Contact us today to find out.

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