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While debate over whether the U.S. has entered a recession ensues, there is little denying the fact that the latest GDP numbers released on July 28 suggest that the economy shrank in each of the past two quarters. Traditionally, a recession has been defined as two back-to-back quarters of declining gross domestic product (GDP). However, due to the fact that the labor market remains strong, such an outlier calls the declaration of a recession into question.
While the official decision has yet to be made by the experts, the fact remains that the future of the global economy doesn’t appear to be looking too bright and shiny. The last recession the U.S. experienced was during the start of the pandemic in March of 2020. The recession lasted for two months (March 2020 – April 2020). However, according to the United States’ National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), a nonprofit organization whose business cycle committee tracks peak and trough months of economic growth, most recessions after World War II averaged “just over 10 months.”
If the economy is in fact heading for a recession, businesses large and small alike must prepare for a period of economic decline. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), organizations have become somewhat accustomed to tumultuous economic times due to the pandemic and the changes spurred by such a global crisis. And, as we’ve been through more than one recession over the course of the past 10+ years, we have enough data to look back on and gain some knowledge on what businesses can do to bounce back faster.
Strong brands look ahead through a variety of lenses, including consumer data to make informed decisions. When consumers tighten their budgets, your business should expand its communication and marketing efforts in order to stay top-of-mind, increase brand recognition and instill a feeling of confidence in your company’s products or services.
There’s no time like the present to get started on some marketing strategies that can keep business booming, even during a period of economic instability. We’ve listed out a few such ways below.
During an economic downtown, a company’s reputation is an invaluable resource. In a digital age, a company’s reputation can easily be found online. While word-of-mouth advertising used to be largely conducted offline, awareness for a brand or a product is now circulated by consumers through social media sites, online review sites and other digital avenues. However, reviews are not the only way to maximize your online reputation.
According to a report by McKinsey, personalization is a key factor to a consumer’s feelings towards a company. The study found that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Personalization is effective in driving repeat engagement and loyalty over time.
Adding a flair of personalization is a relatively easy thing to do. For example, emails can be personalized and targeted, products can be recommended to consumers based on shopping and browsing history and social media messages and ads can be personalized through automation (just to list a few!).
For all messaging, from internal, to traditional media, to social media, look to your brand to direct all marketing efforts. Your messaging should meet the moment, but also strongly position your brand.
At the Times Union Media Group, we empower brands to tell their stories. We provide different platforms to connect our business partners with their target audiences, on a personal level, through content and storytelling.
The Times Union Media Group’s Brand Spotlight is a dedicated page, where you can spotlight your team, your brand or the services that make your business a success through a tailor-made article written by a local professional writer. We work closely with you to make the story of your business or organization impactful – with messaging to target your desired audience.
For businesses that would like content created in a more robust fashion, Hearst’s StoryStudio will work with your brand to create impactful content that matters. All content is housed in one environment creating an immersive brand experience that will resonate with your target audience. StoryStudio content blends in with the surrounding editorial content which creates a natural look and feel that engages readers.
StoryStudio also leverages premium inventory, proprietary data, and optimization technology across all Hearst-owned platforms to maximize engagement for each story.
Ensure that you are reaping the rewards of your marketing and communications efforts. As consumers are your lifeline, cutting your marketing budgets, or doing away with marketing completely will only make the climb back from an economic downtown that much more difficult. It is vital to stay in front of and connected to your target audience.
However, when budgets are tight, ensuring that you are most effectively advertising your business is key to overall success. Tracking the results of your marketing campaigns is crucial to understanding what marketing avenues are producing the best results for your business.
The Times Union Media Group fully embraces and appreciates the value of tracking and measuring campaigns. We work to drive engagement and share reporting with our clients via a dedicated team of creative and marketing strategists, project managers and account managers. We want to ensure that our solutions are cost efficient, effective, and align with your overall and financial goals.
Experts generally agree that it is difficult to predict if, when and how long a recession will last, with so many conflicting factors at play in the economy. Running a business during a recession can be overwhelming, but with the proper strategy, your business can succeed and grow. By partnering with a media company to execute a formalized marketing approach, you will be in better shape than ever to retain and gain market share even if the economic environment becomes challenging.
Having been in business for more than 160 years, The Times Union is confident in its ability to provide expert level help to businesses as a trusted advertising partner. Does your business need help building or bolstering a marketing plan during these uncertain times? Through our parent company, Hearst, and our four other sister agencies around the United States, we offer the individual attention of a startup with the resources of a large corporation.
If you have any questions about the Times Union Media Group and what we do, please reach out to us today!