Oliver Payne

Behavioural insight & comms consultant

3 things marketeers should do during the credit crunch to put a floor under sales and keep the brand relevent

By admin • Jan 10th, 2009 • Category: Twitter updates

During a downturn marketeers need to focus on only 3 clear areas:

1. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
2. Email marketing
3. Brand positioning

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is always important. Period. So it’s not that using SEO becomes more important during a downturn - it’s how you use SEO that becomes important. So how do you use it? Marketeers need to do what the financial world has been doing since the collapse of Lehman Brothers - the ‘flight to safety’. ‘Safety’, in this instance, is found in product and services descriptions. Safety is not found in brand names. Marketeers have to recognise that consumers are re-evaluating what products and services they use. They search for trainers, not Nike. Marketeers need to use a keyword ladder that is heavy on product description and light on brand. Once they’ve (re)captured a re-evaluating customer part 2 becomes important.

Email marketing
is the glue that holds customers to a brand. And it’s email marketing where you can have ‘private’ conversations. The sort of conversations where you can offer information for free, or products at reduced prices as ’specials’ without damaging the brand publicly. In fact, information for free is a great way to bolster a brand in time of re-evalution. Nike could write a sign-up free download of three ways to improve your running technique. Then they’ve re-captured a wavering customer.

The third part - Brand positioning - leads on from email strategy. A brand need to be positioned as having extra value. Or just plain value. To extend the reason for purchase (or just engagement) beyond a price discount. Almost any brand can find a way of adding value. No? skeptical? OK, what about car tyres then - tricky to add value there, right? The origin of the Michelin guide is wholly the response of the tyre manufacturer to increase tyre wear - and hence product turnover. When was this piece of brilliantly incisive marketing deployed? 1900. A full 109 years ago. Shame on anyone who doesn’t learn lessons from the past. Interestingly the guide was distributed free from 1900 until 1920 - email marketing by any other name.

The invisible benefit with this 3 pronged approach is that it doesn’t stop working when an economy picks up. Better get on with it then, huh?

admin is a digital native who's been taking brands and businesses digital since 1995 (only 5 years after Tim Burners-Lee created the first ever web page). Honing his skills in a variety of companies for the last 14 years, including Ogilvy and Saatchi & Saatchi as a Creative Director, Partner and/or Board Member. He also won some awards.
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