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Marketing During Recession Importance

Marketing is regarded as the process of researching, distributing, selling and promoting products and services with an aim of increasing sales. It involves arousing interest of potential customers to consume your products or services. Contrary to the belief by firms directors that spending on marketing is an expenditure, research has proven that those firms that undertake rigorous marketing practices through advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing through use of sales persons publicity and public relations always survive better during recession periods than those who consider marketing as added expenses. Marketing enhances the customer’s perception of the product and creates product loyalty. The customer identifies with the product and at all times. It therefore becomes difficulty for that customer to switch brands and hence an advantage to the company. During recession, the economic activities in the economy are at the lowest level. People shun spending and only buy that which is important. During this period, the firms’ sales are low. During recession, Smart companies assess, and research on customers’ needs and their buying power especially during harsh economic times so that they can provide a product tailored to the customer specifications. They undertake intensive marketing to increase their market share and create brand loyalty. They strive to build a strong relationship with their customers by convincing them of their product or service superiority to those of their competitors. They carry out their marketing at ease as the competition for market is lowered by the companies that decrease their marketing campaigns through cutting on their marketing costs. During the period of recession most accountants are under pressure to reduce the cost of production and increase the returns of the shareholders. For smart companies that have to conquer and increase their market share in future, they know and understand that marketing is a long – term investment. During this period they increase their selling efforts, improve their selling techniques, look for new markets, work systematic and increase the value of their products. The administrators of these companies clearly understand that good marketing today pays in the near future and they do it to remain in business in the near future. During recession, customers value goods and services they need and companies value cash. Contrary to many firms’ managers and accountants’ belief, a downturn is no time to cut on marketing budget. The cornerstone is to recognize and appreciate the changes of the needs of your partners and customers and consecutively change appropriately. The management should understand that the brands that are extensively advertised during downturn increases its market share and consequently its returns on investment (Baker, 2008. p 27).

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The company should adopt marketing strategies such as early buy allowances and extended financing and other policies that guarantee good returns in order to motivate distributors to supply your products. It’s during this time that the marketers should spend more time with their distributors and customers. The company needs to increase its research on the customers. This can not be done when companies slash the marketing budget, they need to now better how customers consider value and react to the recession. They should understand the elasticity of their products. During recession, customers spend much of their shopping times searching for durable goods. In most cases they take time negotiating at point of sale. The buying behavior of customers at a time of recession entails trading down, reduced purchases or postponed purchases. The company should at this moment aggressively instill trust on their products. The high value attached to the trusted brands of a company could come in handy in its quest to successfully launch new products. During recession, the company that needs to survive in future must reconsider the way it brands its products. Customers remain the best asset to a producer. Without loyal customers, the company future is in jeopardy. Customer service and experience are gained through marketing. A good company brand provides an emotional fulfillment to its customers. The company should strive to promote brand marketing by constantly communicating with prospective customers in a bid to identify and produce brands that meet their expectations. The company must develop its brand so that it is easily identifiable from other companies. It should develop a good image and corporate identity of the company to its customers. Through marketing, the customers are able to appreciate the brand and identify with it. This is facilitated by a good target market research that concerns itself with gaining information from potential customers’ needs, their taste and preferences, superior features they identify in your products and benefits they derive form consuming the product. This assists the sales force to identify its target market of interest. Marketing may be done in several ways. Whichever method is used, the core importance of it is to convey the intended message to potential customers. During economic downturn, customers are very choosy on what they spend on. They require knowing exactly that they have spent wisely by acquiring that product that they wish will give them maximum utility. The company can use several ways to accomplish this (Quelch, 2008. pp 43-46).

The company must invest on that medium that will communicate its message directly and clearly to the target customers. To achieve this, proper brand marketing through brand name development, redesign and communication is necessary. During this age of marketing, a strong brand, loyal customers and proper brand communications are the most valuable assets of an organization. Proper marketing and a good differentiated brand helps the company to reach out and acquire potential customers in a manner that is in line with their needs, customs and expectations. Proper marketing informs, reminds and persuades customers to make purchases of your products. It makes it possible for a product to penetrate new markets, increase awareness of the product and outlines the importance of consuming the product over its competing products. Customers who are not certain need to be reassured about the brand. Potential customers are always warily of attempting new products. As firms cut back their marketing campaigns to minimize on spending, it’s the best time for a smart company to penetrate new markets and create product loyalty. This increases the scope of sales and eventually, the cost of marketing is covered through sales economies. Consequently, when the economy downturn or recession is over, the products from competing firms are no longer a threat since the product has already gained market and customer loyalty has been established. The directors of companies that cut marketing expenditure during recession should be made aware that research has shown that those companies that increase marketing during times of economic downturn do increase their market share and increase return on investment at reduced cost than during the boom period. Marketing research is very vital for any business prosperity. Good choice of marketing strategy lowers unnecessary costs. The marketers must choose the product promotion method that can reach a large number of potential customers at reduced costs. During recession, people pull back to their homes. Advertisement through the use of mass media, direct marketing and strong sales force are the key to company success during times of economic hardships. Research has proven beyond reasonable doubts that investing in marketing is a key to success of a company. The fruits of marketing are always realized in near future. It is only through proper marketing that a firm can create product loyalty and command a substantial share of the market. One tactic of increasing sales and hence market share is by taking advantage of the competitors weaknesses in marketing. Intensive marketing is the key to brand prosperity (Lloyd, 2001. pp 55-56).

Reference

Baker, M. (2008). The Strategic Marketing Plan Audit 2008. Cambridge, Mass: Cambridge Strategy Publications

Lloyd, S. 2001. Good marketing in bad times. BRW, pp.55-56CRITICAL T Quelch, J. (2008). Marketing Your Way Through a Recession. Harvard Business.

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