Ronald Reagan used to say that if Trivial Pursuit was designed by economists, it would have 100 questions and 3,000 answers. That said, there’s a lot going on in the world economy and in the United States specifically. There are the continued threats and impacts of COVID-19, associated labor shortages, supply chain challenges and rising inflation. In the face of these challenges, Netflix, Amazon and Groupon, and businesses such as healthcare providers, banking, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, web developers, and others have continued to thrive. As consumer behavior shifts based on COVID-19 constraints and economic uncertainty, so must your products, services and the marketing that messages them.

Increasing marketing spend during downturns can increase your share of voice and increase market-share facing fewer headwinds from retrenching competitors. Any marketing or advertising spend needs to be informed by stepped up research and development, and insights into your target audience shifts in behavior and attitudes influenced by real and perceived impacts of recession attributes. This may result in projecting positive brand perceptions in light of grim economic news and emphasizing value over price.

Focusing on existing customers to sustain persistency becomes vital. Developing flexible payment options, price elasticity testing, developing new value-oriented product lines and aligning messaging to the economic realities while setting an aspirational tone are vital. Most importantly, the best predicter of future behavior is past behavior. It is essential not to cut your marketing spend.

During the 1920s, the cereal companies, Kellogg’s and Post, were locked in battle for market dominance. When the depression hit, Post cut back on advertising expenses while Kellogg’s doubled its spend and increased profits 33% by 1933, and remains the market leader to this day.

Creative Solutions focuses on two archetypes relating to shopping behavior; mission shoppers and recreational shoppers

  • The mission shopper knows exactly what they want or need and hunts for it against criteria that may include price, convenience, safety, security or any number of other considerations.
  • The recreational shopper is someone who enjoys the experience and may be an impulse buyer or someone who can be interdicted in the browsing process and inspired to buy. This leads into channel preference.

In retailing, location is a strong driver, or for the recreational shopper, it may be the first thought that comes to mind while browsing online––influenced by brand advertising, social media, or programmatic display ads. The mission shopper may be best reached by direct mail informed by analytic data suggesting the next most likely purchase. Whatever tactics or strategies you choose, they must deal with changing economic realities and the associated discretionary income customers have to buy your products.

To learn how Creative Solutions can provide customer information and insights that will help your business, contact or 302-543-8533 for a no-obligation introductory consultation.