The annual inflation rate in Australia climbed to 7.8% in quarter 4 of 2022 from 7.3% in quarter 3 and above the estimate of 7.5%. This is the highest point since quarter 1, 1990. Unsurprisingly, this is having a major impact on most people’s cash flow, and a ripple effect on business, as interest rates keep rising together with the cost of living. We can’t predict the outcome of all these changes, but we can at least prepare ourselves and our business now to pivot, no matter what economic events occur.
So, what can we do now, to make sure our businesses survive or even thrive during future market conditions? Firstly, we need to create a plan now, and not act reactively in the future, when it may be too late for your business. Any good marketer knows to go back to the basics when trying to figure out a plan. By using a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis, it helps develop a robust marketing strategy that assists in making educated decisions based on factors such as upcoming challenges and internal and external factors. By looking at your competitive advantages and disadvantages and considering threats in the marketplace that you can’t control, you can anticipate and plan for possible scenarios and create contingency plans now for potential what-ifs if the economy, market and technology change quickly.
In our experience, here are 3 ways to get your business sorted now:
It is crucial that your customers have the best possible experience when on your website. Before speaking to you, your staff directly, or walking through your building front door, your website is the main touchpoint and interaction a customer has with your brand. No matter which platform a customer uses, you must lead every potential customer back to your website. As such a website is your main digital asset and something you own (unlike socials which can remove you at any time). Once your customer lands on your website, make it count. First impressions last! A positive experience on your website is paramount to having customers purchase or repurchase from you. You can stare at your Google Analytics all day, but if a pop-up is covering up your call to action or the shopping basket won’t load, then your attempts to survive this economic environment will be futile.
Further, focusing on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a vital and cost-effective tool to market your business. By optimising your website and content for search engines, you can drive more traffic to your website without the added expenditure of ads. By having a website that ranks high on Google, people are going to be able to find your website, more likely to trust your business, and see it as an authority in the industry. If you want to learn how to do SEO yourself, book a workshop here, or a one-hour one-on-one with our director who will provide advice and review your site for tips to improve your website either via zoom or in person.
During economic downfall, remember that brand experience and emotional bonding play an even more important role. We know consumers generally cut down on the fun and experiential spending and allocate their funds to purchasing necessities during hard times. And when people have less cash to spend, they spend it at a brand they trust and know. They want to know that they are making smart and informed decisions on where they spend their money.
So, your job is to highlight on socials through reviews and regular content, the necessity of your product or service. Social proof and a following of those genuinely interested in your brand, service, and/or products, together with good reviews provide a powerful advantage during times when your market is spending more cautiously. By emphasizing positive reviews and testimonials from happy customers, you build trust with potential customers and increase the chances of current ones staying. Your main job during a downturn in the economy is to remind customers that you exist and why they should stay and purchase from you.
Branding is always a critical aspect for any business, however during an economic downturn when people are counting where every penny goes, it is more important than ever. In order to stand out from competitors and build loyalty, you must communicate to your customer your unique value that you offer and lead with your brand. You need to treat your brand as an asset, and you must invest into it thinking of it as a long-term strategy. Your brand should be assessed regularly to remain fresh in the eyes of your customers. If a rebrand or freshen-up is long overdue, we’re here to help!
Remember, branding extends beyond your physical product or service and helps position you in the market. It is imperative to have cohesive and consistent branding. Your logo, tagline, colour palette, and theme must all be consistent across all platforms as this establishes recognition and reputation. The power of consistency builds trust, awareness, and a sense of stability that customers can rely on during a time of economic uncertainty and instability. By leveraging a strong brand, you can position yourself as a leader in the industry during challenging times. So, when customers need to purchase your product or service, they are more likely to think of you and purchase from you over competitors.
Where to from here?
Businesses need to be adaptable in the current economic environment and position themselves as ready to pivot no matter what gets thrown at them. Act now by using this SWOT Analysis resource to help you understand what you can do to help your business increase awareness and funds so you don’t have to react on a shoestring budget later. Making sure you are prepared and have thought about potential scenarios and how your business is going to drive customers to continue spending at your business. You are putting your best foot forward to survive and grow no matter what happens.
If you really want to capitalise on the power of your branding and marketing, it may be worth talking to a professional design agency like Evolution. We can design all your branding assets, including a logo, brand refresh, and brand guidelines; a user-friendly, SEO-optimised website; or a targeted social media and email marketing campaign.
Give us a call to talk about evolving your business on 03 5222 3328 or send us an email at email@example.com to organise a meeting to discuss your next move.
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