Marketing during tough economic times has never been easy, the UK is currently facing a cost-of-living crisis and consumers are watching their pennies now more than ever. As a marketing recruitment specialist, we recognise the importance of marketing as a key method of communicating with audiences and forging a community with customers. Here is our advice on how to successfully navigate your marketing communications strategy and execution throughout a cost-of-living crisis.
Understand your audience
For many audiences, they will be deeply hit by a cost-of-living crisis across many areas of their lives, particularly when it comes to consumer spending. Therefore, a great way to show consumers empathy towards their situation is by communicating an understanding of their wants and needs through your marketing. Marketing communications that do not address this could possibly be labelled as ‘tone-deaf’ and lead to a damaged brand or company reputation. Marketers can take this important step by researching consumer spending habits and predictions for 2023, in order to discover what resonates with them. When a brand is perceived as more relatable, this is likely to increase engagement and is key to maintaining valued customer relationships.
So, how do we resonate with audiences? Overall, in a cost-of-living crisis or recessions, consumer spending is impacted, so people are typically looking for good value from their products and services. Therefore, your marketing strategy should involve updating your message to meet these new customer priorities and aim to ‘go back to basics’ by communicating good value for money. Updating your messaging can also provide the opportunity to reach new audiences, as many consumers have become more price sensitive, which would result in positively increased brand awareness and sales. Therefore, marketing in a cost-of-living crisis doesn’t have to be perceived as a laborious task that must be navigated; it can be viewed as an opportunity to gain new audiences and expand existing customer loyalty.
When planning your approach to marketing in these uncertain times, a good place to start is examining what your competitors are doing. It’s likely that they have audiences with similar needs, wants and have done their research on this, so take a look at what approach they’re using for their communications. Have they sidestepped this issue completely, or have they tackled it head on by acknowledging the impact on their audience and adapting their message? Either way, competitor analysis – alongside consumer research – is a great start to help inform your own marketing decisions. However, it should be noted that brands that continued to stay relevant throughout the COVID-19 pandemic were the most successful at recovering post-pandemic, so radio silence on this topic may not be the best option.
Be sensitive, empathetic and choiceful
As a cost of living crisis spells hard times for many, choiceful marketing is required now, more than ever. If marketing communications appear to make humorous comments or do not convey sensitivity or empathy regarding the situation, the brand could be considered as disrespectful and unsympathetic by the audience, which could equal to reputation damage. Therefore, if your communications do directly refer to the current cost-of-living crisis, it is important to be choiceful with appropriate actions and wordings. Also, it should be noted that a more empathetic and relatable tone of voice can give your content more personality, maximising engagement and improving marketing success.
In order to maintain customer loyalty throughout this cost-of-living crisis and beyond, it is vital that Marketers are as choiceful and thoughtful about their marketing decisions as possible. If communications during this time are handed well, this provides a great opportunity to increase customer loyalty, reputation, and brand affinity as a result.
Spotlight Recruitment – specialists in marketing, digital, and communications recruitment since 2008. Read our 5* Google reviews from candidates and clients to find out more. If you would like to discuss hiring plans or find out more about us, you can reach our Managing Consultant Angela Durrant at 020 3008 4254 or email the team at email@example.com