Hands up for a downturn?

14 July, 2008

Hands up who remembers the last recession?

Are we there again? If the press is to be believed (OK, OK, bear with me!) then we’re already there. Officially we entered a ‘bear market’ in the UK earlier this month (i.e. 20% lower FTSE than the peak, which was last June). No-one wants to lend money to anyone who actually needs it.

Oh, and marketing budgets are being cut left, right and centre… check out this story on Brand Republic about the latest Bellwether Report.

The one mild positive for AdViking is that digital spend continue to grow, albeit modestly.

So is it real or are we talking ourselves into it? Confidence is such a fragile thing – and confidence determines likelihood of purchase across the board, be it FMCG or big ticket items.

<aside> There’s a potentially interesting study from Datamonitor about retail trends that raises that old chestnut the ‘sacrifical consumer’… but at a little short of £3000 you’ll have to make a lot of brand trade-downs to afford this particular treat. The Sacrificial Consumer is the shopper who will, for example, buy own brand cornflakes and toilet paper so that (s)he can afford a nice bottle of win. </aside>

Digital marketing is still growing because it is quick, measurable, adaptable, effective and relatively transparent. But the smart money is going to go on engagement marketing (digital can be really good at this).

This means doing everything you can to get customers you’ve found to make that first purchase and then keen coming back for more… better still, having them tell their friends and families about it while they’re at it.

In other words, conversion, cross-sell, upsell, retention.

So that’s back to marketing as a conversation, not a one-way shouting match.

That means using established tools like email marketing. (Not that horrible spam stuff, but messages your customers actually want to read – and buy from).

Or using RSS feeds.

Or even, gasp, social media… if only we can figure out how!