As the New Year starts and everyone returns from their Christmas breaks, there are murmurs of an economic downturn and we are all bracing ourselves for a challenging year ahead. Regardless of what your personal view of Brexit is and whether it will be a hard/soft Brexit/another referendum, the one thing everyone can agree on is that it is likely to have far-reaching and varied effects on the UK economy.
Some professional services firms are likely be more affected than others: estate agents and law firms might see a negative effect due to people holding off moving house or write wills, whereas accountants or insolvency practitioners are likely to feel a lesser impact.
This was confirmed by a study conducted by IT recruitment firm Randstad in 2016:
“Accountancy professionals showed they were most capable of enduring the changes to the financial services sector during the recession…Tara Rick’s, MD of Randstad Financial & Professional, commented on these statistics by arguing that “Accountancy is recession resilient. The profession’s comparatively high aggregate salary bill demonstrates accountants are in the enviable position of being in demand whatever the financial weather.
By weathering the recession, accountants have proved that having a strong understanding of taxation, corporate finance and auditing financial information are strongly desired skills. Analysing accounts and business plans, dealing with insolvency cases and conducting financial forecasts and risk analysis are also key for steady employment in the financial services sector.”
Whether your business operates in a ‘recession proof’ industry or not, we look at reasons why you should keep marketing in uncertain times.
Increase market share
The first reaction to a likely downturn in economy is to cut marketing spend which for many SME’s is considered a non-essential business function. Understandably, business owners prefer reducing marketing spend to having to lay off staff with families to take care of. The fact alone that many of your competitors will do exactly that means that you are in a potentially stronger position to tap into the pool of prospects that are available.
Businesses that are able to continue with smart(er) and perhaps more targeted marketing will be able to reap the benefits. Those prospects still able and willing to purchase services are more likely to reach out to companies who are communicating their brand message effectively.
A downturn forces businesses to look at and re-evaluate their commercial relationships to work out whether there are savings to be made or more value to be achieved. What this means is that your competitors’ customers may now be looking for a different supplier when they weren’t necessarily before. So, if you have a visible strong brand presence and offer a service proposition that’s of genuine value to them, you’re in the best position to increase your market share.
Retain existing customers
In a recession more than ever, customers value trust and value for money. By continuing to communicate with your existing clients, understanding their (perhaps slightly changed) needs and offering services that truly add value, firms can retain their existing customer base and use cross-selling techniques to get more from those customers. Nurturing existing relationships and reinforcing that you are the best supplier for their business will keep your customers from moving to a potentially slightly cheaper competitor.
The importance of word of mouth recommendations should also not be underestimated. When people are watching pennies, a personal recommendation goes a long way so keeping your existing clients happy is crucial, now more than ever.
In our blog post Marketing your way through a recession we look at marketing tactics to employ during uncertain times.
If we can assist your business with a recession-proof marketing strategy and implementation call us on 01903 530787 or email email@example.com.