Digital in a Technical Recession

South Africa has just entered a ‘technical recession’, what does this mean for digital marketing and spend? What should you be doing in your marketing during tough economic times?

Our view is simple, never stop. Although your budget should be adjusted to match your means, marketing as a whole can never stop. Why?

Consumers decision making is driven by constant reminders, it’s why you constantly see big brands advertising never ends. Big brands remain top of mind before, during and after any market downturn. They understand that when the market turns, their products and services remain top of the purchasing decision making process because their users and consumers have constantly been reminded of their existence.

The same is true of small and medium business, especially in the most cost-effective form of marketing: digital. A billboard can cost hundreds of thousands, while being an effective form of advertising in certain sectors, the return on investment is much lower than digital marketing. Just about every purchasing decision maker is online and reaching them through digital has become the most relevant in the modern connected world.

When an economy enters recession and budgets are adjusted to keep a business afloat, marketing is often the first cut. However, reassignment of the new constrained budget to more cost-effective forms of marketing should be considered and digital is where the spend should seriously be evaluated.

Building a digital footprint can be expensive, however using the right digital provider can keep your business top of mind until the market turns. A good digital partner will provide a clear plan of action to help you drive market awareness and generate potential leads.

The first step in digital marketing is building a website. Why is this so important? A website sets the standard for your business identity, it is the framework the fuels the rest of your digital identity. Following on from your website, your social media engagement should drive users to your website, then to your call-to-action. Once a reputation is established, market conditions can become irrelevant as users chose you over your competitors.

A recession will change how you promote your business, but it should never be the reason you stop your marketing. It should be the catalyst to innovate and enhance your business to keep you top of mind and ensure your business remains afloat during tough times so that you can soar during a market upturn, being the first port of call when consumer spending increases.

The Barista