Marketing during a recession: jumpstart your leads in a COVID-19 world

The COVID-19 pandemic may not be over, but things are beginning to phase open once again. Your employees are coming back to the office. Customers are beginning to feel more comfortable getting out and about. And most importantly, it’s time to restart your marketing efforts that may have been on pause during this crisis. Don’t let the thought of marketing during a recession drag you down. As we get our bearings in this new world, it’s likely that generating leads — quickly — will be a big focus to help spur sales and income that may have lagged during the lockdown.

Why continue marketing during a recession

Economists have all but guaranteed that this pandemic has ushered the world into an economic recession — although the depth and length of that are just guesses at this point. That doesn’t mean you should pull back on marketing during a recession as a cost-saving matter. In fact, it’s just the opposite. If we look back at history, the companies that continued marketing in a recession saw the greatest growth throughout and post-pandemic. Harvard Business Review looked at 4,700 public companies’ performance during the 1980, 1990 and 2000 recessions and found that the companies that actually increased marketing and sales spending, while still cutting costs and improving productivity, had the most success during and after the recession.

What to market post-pandemic

You may be asking yourself, “Now what?” It won’t be as simple as just running the ads you ran before, directing to the same landing page and waiting for the sales to flow in. The landscape has changed, and what you and your customers need has changed with it. Your business likely needs some sales to help make up the losses suffered during the midst of the pandemic. Focusing on a lead generation campaign to help funnel opportunities to your sales team will have the most success. This is especially true for businesses with a long sales cycle, like equipment manufacturers or other high-priced products and services. Kickstarting lead generation now will pay off in a few months. Building brand awareness throughout the downturn will help you come back strong once it’s all over. Plus, continuing to build your contact list will help long term.

If your sales and marketing teams weren’t the most cohesive pre-pandemic, now is the time to make sure the customer experience is cohesive in the sales-to-marketing handoff. This can be solved through an integrated lead generation campaign that funnels leads to the sales team and supports the sales team with marketing efforts.

How to engage your customers

Marketing during a recession needs to be more strategic and sensitive when compared to pre-COVID-19 times. You may need to be more direct than usual when selling the “why” and asking for customers’ contact information. We’re only a few weeks past the phase where people received emails from every company they’ve ever interacted with. Anything from toothpaste brands to the company they bought a Mother’s Day gift from a few years ago — telling them we’re all in it together. It is likely that customers will be a bit more hesitant about giving away their information. Be sure you have a carrot to dangle (special offer, white paper, etc.) to help make it a no brainer.

Now’s the time to start

Ready to jumpstart your efforts? We’re here to help! Our team has created a worksheet that outlines our 7-step process to generate leads. Fill out the form below for a FREE download to our Jumpstart Plan toolkit.

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