Keys to Marketing During an Economic Downturn

Elizabeth Rider

Marketing during an economic downturn may feel counter-intuitive. Slimy even. How can we ask people to do business with us when they’re trying to pay for groceries?

But here’s the truth: you work in financial services. It’s your job to serve people during an economic downturn.

And how can you serve them if you don’t talk with them? At the end of the day, that’s what good marketing is. A conversation.

Here are three things to keep in mind when marketing during an economic downturn:

1. Keep the focus on consumers, not on you

Yes, it will be a challenge to meet loan goals right now. But don’t let that draw you into the trap of putting your needs before consumers’ needs. Just because a vacation loan would help your goals doesn’t mean it would help the consumer. Focus on what serves their needs.

If you do it right, marketing during an economic downturn will help both the consumer AND you. (Check out this article on marketing messages to use during inflation to get you started.)

2. Dance to the “pain point, solution” rhythm

Don’t be afraid to poke a pain point. And get specific. Specificity catches attention and draws people into the story you’re telling. Instead of saying, “Gas prices are high right now,” say, “Driving the kids to school has never been more expensive.”

Once you’ve established an emotional problem with which people resonate, show them how you make it better. For example, “XYZ Credit Union member was feeling the pinch too until she got approved for our gas savings credit card. It pays her $5 every time she fills up using her XYZ Credit Union card. Now, she’s making money at the pump!”

3. Emphasize hope, not crisis

Keep in mind that this economic downturn is unlike any other. It’s coming on the heels of arguably the most major global crisis this generation has ever seen. People are tired of doom and gloom language. It’s all they’ve heard for the last two years.

In your marketing, emphasize hope. Use positive language and bright images. Don’t ignore the hardship, but don’t wallow in it either.

To make sure your marketing can stand the test of an economic downturn, call On The Mark Strategies for a marketing assessment. We’ll work with you to get your messaging ready for what’s ahead.

Elizabeth Rider
Marketing & Operations Manager
Elizabeth Rider

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