In today’s uncertain economic landscape, there are many strategies you can employ to weather the challenges. You can rein in spending and wait for external factors to improve.

Or you can benefit from a more open field. You might have more opportunities when other businesses fold or competitors behave cautiously. If you choose to invest in your company during these slow times by improving efficiencies and employing creative marketing services, will you be ahead when the market improves?

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, the answer is yes. During the past three recessions, 91% of businesses struggled while 9% thrived. How were they different from those that were struggling? They invested in marketing, maintained their dedication to staffing, and pursued operational efficiencies to benefit them in the long run.

What happens if you don’t choose to do those things? Harvard Business Review offered one cautionary tale. During the 2000 recession, Office Depot cut staff by 6% to cut losses for the near term.

Staples hired more people and sought opportunities to improve operational efficiencies and invest. As a result, Staples’ sales doubled at the end of the 2000 recession to billions ahead of where they were before the recession — substantially higher than Office Depot’s.

How can you apply these lessons to your marketing? During an economic slow-down, use the time to do the following:

1. Invest in Technology

Improve operational efficiencies by eliminating repetitive tasks. For example, move repeat marketing operations into an online portal. This saves time, decreases costs, and reduces potential errors.
For direct mail marketing, use digital marketing to identify your target audience and gain insight into more personalized data. This enables you to enhance your direct mail marketing efforts with more personalized content.

2. Expand Your Channel Mix

How can you steal market shares from a competitor? Be everywhere! Saturate the market with all the available channels — direct mail, email, social media, and wide-format graphics. Expanding your marketing efforts to multiple channels increases your reach and brand awareness and helps you find customers with untapped purchasing potential.

Statistics prove the effectiveness of this strategy. For example, an auto manufacturer recently increased its reach by 26% and its impressions by more than 39% by optimizing its media allocation without adjusting its budget.

3. Invest in Data

Any information about your customers allows you to gain a laser-sharp understanding of your target audience. Let data drive your direct mail marketing programs. Do a deep sweep of your customer data to ensure you use only the most up-to-date information on your target audience. If necessary, invest in additional data to increase the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. To measure the efficacy of your efforts, establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), such as return on investment (ROI). These can help you understand what campaigns are working and build even more effective marketing initiatives to target consumers.

The result? Your marketing efforts will reach your target audience at the right time with the right message.

Commit to a long-term strategy. Use the time to make strategic marketing investments. Then, emerge on the other side of an economic downturn stronger.

Bay Area Fulfillment Services, High-Quality Printing, and Direct Mail Marketing

PMI has over 22 years of experience serving customers in Northern California and nationwide with high-quality printing and direct mail marketing services. Contact us to discuss how we can design, print, and mail your next print marketing campaign!

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