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  • Mark Kalkwarf

5 Tips for Digital Marketing in a Recession

Experts had been expressing fears of an economic recession for around a year, but I don’t think they anticipated the recession would happen this way. Luckily, those of us that have been in the CRE industry for a while, still have the lingering memories of 2008’s Great Recession. What we didn’t have at that time that we do know now, is widespread digital marketing.

In a recent conversation with Chief Marketing Officer Kristen Moore from Brixmor, we touched on how the recession has prepared us to tackle the new market challenges. That got me thinking: back in 2007-2008, social media was still in its relative infancy. Case in point: Twitter was only two years old.

Great Recession marketing skewed towards print than the digital. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t apply what we learned to the contemporary marketing landscape. I’d even say digital marketing gives us some advantages we didn’t have over a decade ago:

#1 Consumer knowledge

We know more about our consumers than ever before. The social marketing platforms provide insights into consumer behavior, like what sites people are visiting, what they’re searching for, what they’re sharing. This information improves our marketing messages.

#2 Digital’s always open

The built world may be nearly shut-down, but the digital world is still open 24/7. This gives us opportunities to keep discovering, reaching, engaging, and nurturing our customers.

#3 Discovering service-orientation

I’ve been a hard advocate of brands using digital marketing as a way of serving others for years. Our messages must come from a place of service first!

What I’ve loved seeing during this crisis is brands having this discovery. We need to lean on each other to survive and thrive. It’s about, “here’s what we know that can help you,” and, “how can we help you better?”

#4 Start conversations

People need to feel connected to others. In this particular crisis, we’re relying on the digital universe to make up for the lack of socialization.

Seize this opportunity to open conversations with the greater CRE community. Use social to converse with the world and keep talking to people. Sometimes, people just want to know they are heard and they matter.

Through these conversations, you’ll learn more about what people need from you. This allows you to be more responsive and come up with some ATYPICAL ways to solve problems.

#5 Competition is down; leverage it

Lean time call for leaner budgets. Businesses hate laying people off, but the unemployment numbers speak to the reality of the recession.

Marketing is an easy area to reduce expenses, but wait! The brands that preserve their marketing budget have a unique advantage. Where others are reducing their marketing output, your messages reach a less crowded marketplace. Now is a time to get your brand name out there when fewer voices are fighting for client attention.

So tune-in. Use the insights you gain from your conversations to make your messages match the needs of your audience. Keep plugging away at your marketing strategy.

Now is the time to be a part of the community, especially since it’s gone digital. Fine-tune what you’re doing and invest in those precious B2B and B2C relationships. Even consider expanding the messaging. Your digital strategy is key to how you weather this recession.

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