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Coping with a recession

An increasing number of people are forecasting that we’re at the start of a long recession. How should we be positioning ourselves for this?

One expert I’ve read suggests putting more effort into encouraging more spending by existing customers, as gaining new ones will become steadily more expensive. This means developing relationships, an area where better communications is essential.

It’s accepted wisdom that the urge to cut back on advertising and marketing communications should be fought, strongly. It’s an easy but false economy to reduce the promotional budget in tough times. The key is to be more efficient, directing money to what’s known to work, and resisting desperate offers from failing channels. In previous recessions, the strongest brands have come out in the best shape.

Another good tip is to treat our product range as if it was a group of separate companies, and assess each line on its own merits, being ruthless with what gets our love and what we give up on.

Finally, we should bear in mind the eventual recovery and the position we may be in then. Will our customers return to their old expectations, or could things be permanently changed, as happened a couple of years ago? Marketing has a huge role to play in the chances of any business emerging successfully from a recession.