BusinessThe Great Recession: Lessons Learned

The Great Recession: Lessons Learned

As our economy is in uncharted territory due to the recent pandemic, one of the best things we can do as marketers is learn from the past. From 2007-2009 the nation, and frankly the world, experienced the Great Recession. The unemployment rate was at an all time high, the Dow Jones declined by more than 50% and more than three million homes were foreclosed. We haven’t experienced all of these in 2020; however, we have seen a huge increase in unemployment and businesses struggling – even permanently closing their doors – in the recent months.

Companies that were successful coming out of the Great Recession were those who held true to their brand and found ways to stay relevant with the changing culture. When it came to marketing there were four main things that strong companies did to push forward.

Everyone learned they had to do more with less. Even the biggest, wealthiest companies reduced their marketing budget, but not completely. Lesson: The best thing to do is double down on what works for your company.

“Everyone learned they had to do more with less.”

Targeted marketing proved to be a win-win. Businesses were approaching their marketing by specifically targeting their message instead of spreading a blanket message to the mass population. Lesson: It’s always best to go a mile deep and inch wide versus a mile wide and inch deep. You can’t be everything to everyone.

During this time, online tactics were utilized more and more. It was more important than ever to illustrate people were taking action based on marketing instead of just using impressions to prove success. Lesson: Focus on marketing that provides action driven results.

Most importantly successful companies watched consumer behavior patterns. This meant if people switched their method of communication, businesses needed to be flexible. Lesson: Educate yourself on how your consumer is evolving. For example, if your target audience moves from one social media platform to another such as Facebook to Instagram, consider putting content on both platforms.

As stated above, all of these things will strengthen your brand not only during uncertain times, but also into the future. Twelve years ago we learned it is okay to pause and re-evaluate your brand. Taking this approach can be scary yet extremely beneficial. It starts with a brand audit … What are your customers, vendors and even employees saying about you? What do you want them to be saying, and how can you change your brand to reflect the things you want to be said about your company? Next is to build strong relationships with your current customers, potential clients, and employees. They are your best source of marketing – word-of-mouth is stronger than ever with social media platforms and online reviews. Relationships, Relationships, Relationships. A powerful brand is supported by it’s relationships with other businesses, individuals and the community. In essence, your brand is a relationship in itself – some relationships can be healthy and strong while others are destructive. And last but not least, create transparency. During turbulent times, people require honesty and direct communication.

If we have learned anything from the Great Recession it is to keep your brand strong and continue marketing. We can learn from the past because if we know one thing for sure, history repeats itself!

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