It is over a month since the official announcement of the country’s economic recession. Economics experts have given basic definitions of what economic recession means; It is defined as a period of decline in the Nation’s economic activities; expansively, a decline in the Gross Domestic Product for two or more consecutive quarters.
In a common and simple term; economic recession birth; increased unemployment, average income downturn, increase in daily spending with limited input, possible increase in the prices of good and services, lowered business opportunities, profit decline, Consumer dissatisfaction…e.t.c
Taking it from a business perspective, economic recession is a core business threat that affects all economic resources, consumer spending or purchasing ability, consumer behaviour and integrally marketing communications expenditure: It is believed that Advertising budget is the first to get axed when economic recession sets in.
Well, one cannot really fault the conservative approach of any Organisation towards a recessed economy as regards Advertising, but it is highly imperative for brands to know they might be prone to the danger of huge market-share risk, consumer disloyalty, escalated future budget, new customers loss, uncertain end to threat, a drowsy profit margin at the long-run..e.t.c
Without much ado, let me briskly delve into the caption matters, which is basically the opportunities that abound for brands that decide to keep being in the eyes and ears of its consumers and expected ones not getting held back by the current condition of the Nation’s economy
Your Voice will be minimally shared
Can we do this little mathematics together, if you spend One Million Naira on a marketing campaign to reach out to an estimated audience of five hundred thousand before the economy got recessed, how much do you think you will need to spend to reach the same estimated audience now in a recessed economy? Well this is really objective, but here is my view – Before a recessed economy brands bid for a share of voice with their competitors and other generic brands, the Advertising medium is crammed with various Ads and this will require you hype your budget in order to remain heard, seen and competitive. But now that you can carefully count the number of Ads on radio, Tv, Billboards, Newspaper e.t.c due to reduction of AD placement, don’t you think you can spend less for more? Now that your competitors are withdrawing from the competitive stage, you’ve got the mic to yourself to shout strongly and be heard. This will progressively translate into acquiring a larger portion of the share of voice within and outside your competitive market.
Product Knowledge and Admiration Opportunity
This is essential for brands or products with complex features; the present humble economy can give you a very big opportunity to communicate the essential features of your brand that seem tactical and uneasy to quickly understand in 60’ commercial. Major medium like; Newspaper, radio and Tv are currently serving as a relief medium for a lot of people since the medium now have more space to entertain their readers, listeners and viewers. The people are relaxed, the medium is spaciously available; If you are the 2nd or 3rd out of the three AD placement in a Newspaper, I think you will easily pipe through your tough messages. I think this clicks more with brands in the automobile, electronics, technology, real estate e.t.c industry. This will progressively translate into product admiration as audience get to know more about your offering.
As we always say ‘Customer is king’ In this economic turbulence, smart brands struggle for the survival of its customers by widening and deepening its insight about them, highlighting the possible changes in the physiological and cognitive process of the customer. Imagine a customer with an average income of N100, 000 before economic downturn, now earns N50, 000 , If she consumes your product 10 times in a month, there is a probability the consumption rate drops by 40-50%. Would you stop communicating with such recessed customer? If you do, you might be sending a very wrong signal and might have her turned-in for a competition trial. You cannot afford to lose gap with your customer, less you appear uncompetitive and dispassionate. This is the time to sensually and emotionally communicate with your customers, throw out a loyalty promo or tangible incentives, share tips of basic financial management and opportunities, look inward into the generic need of your customers (if any feature of your product cannot address any of the needs, give a suggestion), show to them you care and put on a motivational jacket. You and your customer cannot be recessed at the same time. This will progressively translate into a business sustainability, market share upgrade and customer loyalty.
Market Share Win
Market share is basically about sales earned and consumer aqcuired over a specific period of time within a particular market industry. In a downturn economy it is expected sales get dropped as purchasing power drops, and when that happens, the market share might drop too. While companies take an astute order over financial management, there is also need to consider how not to lose its market share. Recession breeds opportunity of market share gain for smart brands, while other brands are panicking, smart ones are getting creative and strategic, identifying competitor’s weaknesses and emotionally attracting its customers. Successful brands like; Disney, Microsoft, Apple, Ipod e.t.c were launched during recession and they are top of the mind brands today. It is generally believed that the prevalent reason sales drop during economic downturn is due to the fall in the financial capacity of a customer, but fall in a customer financial stance only awaken his attention to his purchasing behaviour, not tuning him off totally from buying. Let’s take for instance: A recessed customer who needs a car might consider an option of a used car instead of a new one; For a smart automobile brand, it might approach such customer with an instalment payment opportunity campaign (pay 50% and spread balance for 1 year), or launch him with an incentive of 200Litres of fuel after purchase. The result translate into you not just keeping the customer, but attracting new ones and weighing over your competition. Also bear in mind that great brands are built on emotions not on rationale and persuasive communication.
One thing most organisations fail to understand about Advertising is that is not just a seasonal tool of sheer awareness and sales booster, but an investment with both short and long term benefits and returns. Advertising represents not just your product, but your individual and collective staffs, management team, board of directors, your factory, your plant, your computers, your structures, gatemen, cleaners and even your customers. It’s like a single pillar everyone is wrapped on, the experience derived from your product or service is a testimonial of what your organisation stands for: This is the story Advertising builds over and over in the mind the present generation and the ones to come, thus fostering your business insight, mission and vision, short and long tern profit and sustainable growth.
The market field is like a war zone your direct and indirect competition are on the lookout for your down-tone, times like this are strategic period to stay awake and alive. I leave you with an excerpt from Sun Tzu Art of War ‘ Now when your weapons are dulled, your ardour damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.