I have a friend who is about as sharp as you can get in the field of marketing (Jim Copacino, co-founder of Copacino + Fujikado, a leading advertising agency in Seattle). He recently spoke at an insurance industry marketing and communication awards banquet, in which he essentially said that there is a silver lining to the various harsh effects of a recession, outlining seven ways to gain a marketing advantage during such times. I thought they were good enough to share with the AR community, and have adapted them to our industry.
Here they are, in order of least important (#1) to most important (#7):
- Stay human. Look at the issues facing your clients today and bring to them healthy, humanized solutions from the realities of today's marketplace. For example, explain that moving up in a distressed market, i.e., selling your home and replacing it with a more expensive home will work to your advantage. You may sell for less, but you will buy the new one for a lot less.
- Stretch your brain. Be true to your core values but be ready to be nimble and adopt new strategies. For example, hire a social media consultant to improve your performance in that important space.
- Recessions create vacuums -- fill them. Recessions change clients' perceptions of their needs. Determine what they want, especially emotionally, and give it to them in all aspects of your service.
- Leverage strategic partnerships. Use partner's money to promote your brand. In this way, one and one equals more than two. Don't have partnerships? Make some with the team of professionals you often use in your business (lenders, home inspectors, title companies, others you refer business to, etc.).
- Create value through innovation or re-packaging your services. What you offer doesn't have to be new, it can be what you always offer, just freshened up. Or, you can move into new areas, like increasing your expertise in, say, green homes.
- Adapt your business model to the times. A recession is a time of uncertainty, but the good news is that people are much more willing to try new things. Adapt accordingly and profit from it.
- Don't retreat -- attack. Spend money on marketing because your competition is not. It's the greatest opportunity you can have to move ahead of them all.