Marketing Your Organization in a Down Economy
Just when the pandemic eases up…welcome to an economic slowdown. Lovely. However, like Henry Ford said: “The man who stops advertising to save money, is like the man who stops a clock to save time.” We’re taking Hank’s words to heart here at TIV Branding, but we’re also making some adjustments knowing that we’re in unpredictable economic times.
A Consistent and Stable Presence
Regardless of whether your audience is engaging with your organization, you can’t let them forget about you entirely. Eventually the time will come when they either want to support you or need the services you offer. To disappear entirely is to lose the progress you’ve made so far and the time and money you’ve already invested in building your brand. You want them to know you exist and that your organization is stable. Stability is a key factor for donors and investors.
A brand awareness campaign is the approach we would recommend to keep reminding your people what you do and why it’s so important. And it is a great opportunity to get back to basics. Why are you the best organization for your people? Are you being clear about what makes you unique? Or have you lost your focus? No worries if you have…do some work to remember what you’re all about and why folks should care. Make sure marketing tools like your website reflect these basics. It’s easy for messaging to grow, expand, evolve and lose focus in the process.
Once you’re clear on what you’re saying, have a look at your ad spend. Which tactics are accomplishing your current goals? Look at cost per impression, sheer number of impressions and of course, conversions. One adjustment you may need to make is what you consider a conversion. You may need to get more folks to sign up for your email list before supporting your cause financially these days.
Speaking of email lists…for most organizations this is the lowest cost, highest engagement marketing tool at your disposal. Don’t over use it, but make sure it’s a focus moving forward. Build that list and make sure people are thrilled by the compelling content you’re providing them regularly.
Other practical tactics to consider are SEO – organic traffic is the least expensive in the long haul and converts much higher than paid ads. If you haven’t spent time looking at whether SEO is a viable tactic for your organization, do it. And along those lines spend some time reviewing your website to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward once that SEO kicks in and traffic increases. Pro tip: Review your mobile visitor experience.
Efficient Outreach for New Customers/Clients
If you’re continuing to focus on new customer acquisition, the time is right to focus on the most efficient tactics. Our clients have had great success using Google Performance Max campaigns to target those who visit competitors’ websites.
Once folks have made it to your website, make it easy to engage with you. Give them a quick and easy way to follow, donate or find other support opportunities online so they’re immediately accessible. And make sure that your engagement and donation tools make sense and are easy to understand.
Okay. But I Still Need to Cut Back
Like we said before, we wouldn’t recommend cutting back on marketing during challenging times but if it is unavoidable then here are the platforms you should be looking at eliminating:
- Regular Google Text Ads. Use Performance Max to get more bang for your buck.
- Print. We love print when it’s right, but it’s a declining audience.
- Direct Mail. Create a program to convert your direct mail contacts to email or SMS marketing and then stop paying for printing and postage.
- Outdoor. Turn your billboard budget into a budget to find your people online. They are more likely to notice you than if they pass you at 55 mph +
Now’s not the time to give up on building your brand, but having a close look at your marketing budget and working on strategies to become more efficient in all of your efforts is never a bad thing, even when the economy is booming. If you need help working through the best approach, you know where to find us!