News of the probable economic downturn dominates the headlines, with many U.S. economists predicting a recession soon. Wells Fargo & Co., Deutsche Bank and others estimate it to happen in mid-2023, while Bloomberg Economics estimates a three-in-four probability of a recession hitting the beginning of 2024.
It is hard to ignore the possible implications it can have on the security industry, and chances are good that most of us are considering ways to fortify our businesses through this downturn. As a security dealer, integrator or manufacturer, it may feel as if economic uncertainty is propelling us into some poorly chartered waters. The reality is businesses within the industry are better positioned than most to not just survive, but thrive if they understand consumer behavior patterns and how to leverage evolving marketing trends.
Here are the top marketing trends to help your business thrive.
Don’t Stop Marketing, Adjust It
One of the first temptations for many business owners is to cut back on marketing. Do not react to this knee-jerk reaction. As Henry Ford said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” Instead of cutting back on marketing, divert more of your marketing dollars to what is providing the most ROI during this time.
Expect Things to Be Different
As you adjust your marketing spend, expect things to be different. Changes in the economic climate can actually open up new opportunities and result in more profitable ad campaigns. Things such as a demand-side platform (DSP) allows marketing companies to automatically buy ad space for your marketing campaigns. During a recession, you can buy some of these upper-crust ad platforms at discounted rates.
Use Empathy Mapping
Marketing isn’t just about showcasing and promoting your products or services. Believe it or not, it isn’t even mostly about promoting your products or services. It is about understanding the thoughts, needs and perspectives of your customers and empowering them to solve their problems and meet their needs. During times of economic uncertainty, the needs, fears and concerns of your customers drastically change, and to capture leads you first need to be able to understand the new set of needs by using empathy mapping.
An empathy map is a collaborative visualization used to articulate what we know about a particular type of user. It externalizes knowledge about users to create a shared understanding of user needs and aid in decision-making and marketing.
Rethink Your Products, Services & Audience
Rethink your products, services, and audience in light of economic challenges. While customers may be inclined to curb unnecessary spending, positioning security technologies as tools to help solve economic challenges can open more doors. For example, using remote video guards is an economical way to increase security when the risks of theft rise. Reposition your thinking about your services to align empathetically with the customer to help overcome objections.
Direct Marketing to Your Current Customer Base
Marketing to your existing customers is easier and less costly to execute. If you go above and beyond to satisfy your core customers during a recession, they’ll most likely talk about it to their peers who may not be enjoying the same quality of customer experience. This would earn you free referrals, which are a gold mine in a declining economy.
While the sales cycle may be longer, and customer needs may change, the security industry is uniquely positioned to meet growing needs during a recession. To overcome the obstacles inherent in a slow economy, we must establish trust with our customers, identify their core needs and help them discover and extract the most possible value from the company’s service and products. Do this and our industry will come out twice as strong on the other side.