On Thin Ice

By joanne | 18th April | Marketing Strategy

The news seems to have been focused on the economy for years now and I’m not sure how much has changed in terms of consumer confidence over the past couple of years at least.  And spending is heavily related to consumer confidence – if people aren’t spending, the economy shrinks (and vice versa).

Many senior economists are predicting that 2012 will be the year that dictates the next decade.  If it goes well, we’ll have a great decade and if not, it could be a long ten years.  But what does this actually mean for your business?

Customer confidence is currently balanced on a knife-edge.  On the one hand, we hear doom and gloom about the Eurozone ‘crisis’ and, on the other, most British people are sick of the recession and want to get back to the way things were.

There’s no doubt people are being careful about what they spend – in the main.  They’re looking for value and they’re shopping around.  And these are all trends you could align with if you want to surf the current marketing wave.  Consider the following to capitalise on the opportunities there are:

  1. When people are cost conscious they look for value – adding perceived value to your product / service may mean you don’t need to cut prices.  Win-win.
  2. If customers are looking for coupons and vouchers, consider offering them.  But ensure they make you money instead of costing you money (this is a fatal mistake made by the majority of companies).
  3. If people are shopping around, help them.  Why be frightened of your competitors if you’re offering better value and are confident in your product?  Show customers the differences and let them decide for themselves – they’re looking anyway; with or without your help.
  4. Quality is king.  People want to buy once and know the item will last.  As a result, trusted branded products are performing well, as are quality products and services.
  5. Small, local, family and fairtrade are all useful buzzwords; particularly if you’re targeting the younger generations.  There has been a significant backlash against the corporate world as a result of the recession and this, along with the technology boom, has hugely assisted small businesses

Opportunities remain; as in any market.  Times are changing, as always.  And we need to adapt and remain positive to take advantage.

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