Easy for Certain Experts to Say, INCREASE Your Marketing Spend

Yes, increasing your marketing efforts while competitors are pulling back will likely lead to gains in market share; but what if your budget’s been frozen, or slashed? You can increase your marketing without additional spending. Take a cue from P&G, who in recent years, cut its marketing budget by $10 billion. They didn’t go dark, they went digital. And yes, you’re using digital, too. But are you doing what it takes to get the most from your digital ad spend? Did you know in-app mobile ads out-perform mobile web ads? According to one tracking study, in-app click-through rates averaged 0.56% globally, compared with 0.23% for mobile web ads.

Is There Anything Good About Not-So-Good Times?

In a down economy, consumers prioritize their spending, which could be encouraging news for the Automotive Aftermarket industry. In most American households, transportation is categorized as essential. While buying a new car is not essential, keeping your car running is. In down times, owners HAVE to take care of the cars they already own; and you HAVE to take care of the customers you already have.

Treat Your Customers as if they are Poachable (Because they ARE)

In down times, the core needs of your customers’ customers are changing. What are you doing to support the adjustments your customers need to make in order to retain theirs? One of the smartest ways to remind a client that you expertly understand their brand category is by sharing an insight you’ve uncovered via research. And instead of bombarding them with content you’ve simply downloaded and regurgitated, isolate ONE salient point, then dig deeply to mine the focused information they can use. Present your efforts as a report prepared expressly for them.

Implement or Improve a Customer Loyalty Program

In a down economy, your audience expects, and deserves, to be rewarded. Doesn’t mean they’ll line-up just to sign-up. Studies show that if prospects know they’ll be rewarded for enrolling, they’re not only more likely to join, they’ll also be more inclined to stick with the program. What can you offer them now? Think in terms of a useful newsletter or some branded swag. Also, members of groups prefer some status attached to their membership. Come up with a name that promises good things to come. Wouldn’t you rather be known as, “Gold VIP Member” instead of, merely “Member?”

Still at the Top (a Qualified Statement)

Our nation continues to hold a leadership position in this arena: the U.S. economy is a key driver for economic health in other countries. The direction of the U.S. economy largely determines the fortune, and misfortune, of our nearest and most active trading partners: Mexico and Canada. But throw globalization into the mix, and the performance of our other trading partners, namely China, Europe, and Japan, now influences OUR economic status. There’s no escaping the avalanche of recent reports that global weakness and falling oil prices indicate cause for concern here in the States. But you know what to do. Be the proactive category expert your existing customers deserve. Research the smartest ways to optimize your marketing budget. Be creative and realistic at the same time. You’ll ride this out.

SOURCES: Harvard Business Review, Contently, Business Insider