Economic times have many businesses thinking twice before they spend their money. However, numerous studies, going back as far as the Great Depression, have shown that maintaining or increasing advertising during tough economic times yields greater results than advertising during good times. According to a recently released article titled, “Advertising in a Recession: In Chaos Lies Opportunity,” advertisers who can maintain or increase their advertising investment will see a greater impact in their advertising. During the recession of the early ’80s, research shows that firms that maintained or increased ad spending during those tough economic times enjoyed significantly higher sales growth, both during the recession and for the next three years versus those that eliminated or decreased advertising.
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”– Albert Einstein
Below you will find ten helpful tips for advertising during tough economic times.
1. Maintain Quality Customer Service
Current and previous customers are your most valuable asset when the economy’s in a bad place. They already know, like, and trust your business. You can avoid the usual sales and marketing costs to introduce them to your business. Instead of chasing new customers, target the ones you’ve already got. Customer service is even more important in challenging times.
2. Gain Market Share at Your Competitors’ Expense
During the last recession, McDonald’s almost tripled their advertising campaign at a time when their competitors, namely Burger King, were cutting back. So even though this may seem counter-intuitive, tough economic times may be the time to increase your marketing.
3. Increase Your Visibility
Consumers don’t stop buying during tough economic times. They may become more selective, but they are still going to buy-most likely from a brand they know. The more visible you are, the more confident your customers and prospects become. By reminding them of your stability and staying power, they will put more trust in your business.
4. Create Synergy Among Marketing Mediums
Utilize all of your offline and online marketing tools and create synergy between mediums. Enhance your print with text messaging and use streaming video to create a better user experience online. An integrated marketing approach helps to create an overall communication strategy for your target market.
5. Maximize Your Print Advertising with Mobile Marketing
This can deliver highly personalized and useful information when and where it’s needed. By including a For Rent Magazine® text messaging keyword on your print or outdoor advertising, you’re allowing prospective renters to reach you 24/7. According to Mobile Marketing Association, 69% of U.S. mobile subscribers use text messaging, with 44% texting daily or weekly. Mobile marketing is on the rise and consumers are conveniently searching for apartments and jobs via mobile Web sites and PDAs.
6. Enhance Your Internet Marketing with Streaming Video
ForRent.com’s Community TheaterTM video package is an effective Internet marketing alternative allowing you to cost effectively reach hundreds of thousands of prospective renters with our video syndication network. Streaming video has a proven track record to be a successful brand-building medium that has increasingly effective and measurable results. According to comScore Media Metrix, Americans viewed more than 11.4 billion videos for a total duration of 558 million hours during the month of July 2008.
7. Build Closer Relationships
The mantra, “It’s not what you know but who you know,” will become more important in tough economic times. Online social networks allow you to actively engage with consumers and deliver messages that are relevant to their changing needs. According to eMarkerter.com, 44% of U.S. consumers used social networking sites at least once a month in 2008. Customers will be looking for those businesses that are still actively engaging with them.
8. Integrate Community Theater Videos Into Your Social Media Profiles
Through social media, new relationships can be formed between brands, businesses, and consumers which will outlive the economic downturn. Get involved in communities and social networks where your customers are already engaged. Post your Community Theater videos on your apartment community social media profiles such as MySpace®, Facebook, Twitter and YouTubeTM.
9. Leverage E-mail Marketing
E-mail marketing will gain market share because marketers can tie them to sales. Use your ForRent.com Community Theater video and send an ePostcard to prospective renters that filled out a guest card on ForRent.com. ForRent.com’s Community E-mailer also allows you to create and send a personalized brochure via E-mail. The power and reach of email has become a must for businesses. It is easy and provides direct interaction with your customers.
10. Provide Perks
Providing perks to existing customers is good for brand loyalty and can help you achieve brand differentiation. Providing perks to new customers can also provide a leading edge over your competition when it comes to catching the attention of first time customers. Some example perks are move-in coupons, waiving application fees, rent specials, movie coupons, gas gift cards and more!