The last decade has been a boon for the wellness industry, but economists and experts have been warning of an economic slowdown. Whether you run an eCommerce selling health and wellness products or a local vender, like a yoga studio, no one cannot escape the realities of the economy around them. In a slowing economy, customers will re-prioritize their expenses and reevaluate their commitments to lifestyle brands.
In an environment where consumers are tightening their wallets, every business manager has to be strategic to retain customers and grow.
Be The Best For The Price
Your brand offers a product or service that even if unique and superior, is most likely being offered by other brands in your market. And in a slowing economy, your current customers might feel the pinch and look for alternatives to fit their budget.
To be competitive we have to have a good sense of what our customers expect so that we can gauge our performance to exceed their expectations. It’s not enough to offer what others are offering (even at a more affordable price); we can’t even offer them what they used to get from us. We need to throw in bonuses- whatever that might mean for your brand. It could be free classes or promotional products, but it doesn’t have to be. Making yourself available through email or phone, or a personalized note in your packaging could go along way.
Maintaining our current clientele in the event of a downturn will make us less reliant on marketing for new clients in a bad economy.
Wellness Marketing In a Recession- Back To Basics
What is marketing but presenting our offer to someone interested in our product or service? And why should this be risky, difficult and expensive if the person is interested?
When managing our businesses seems hard enough, marketing just makes our brains explode. It’s understandable to feel that its better left to someone else; but these are our companies, and we understand our customers more then we give ourselves credit for. Don’t you think we should apply that knowledge help focus our messaging? No matter if our marketing is managed by an agency or in-house, we cannot rely on the old strategies that was working in good times. We’re going to need to tighten things up.
Here’s a tip; take a few minutes with a notepad and answer the following questions. Try to add as much detail and precision you can.
- Which customers are the greatest priority to our business?
- What do these high priority customers need to know in order to be ready, willing, and able to choose our brand?
- What can we do to communicate this to them?
How To Think about Marketing
Consider this short list of the various marketing options:
- Social Media
- Direct Mail
- Catalogs & Brochures
- Trade Shows
- Magazines & Newspapers
- Store Placement
Which ones should we use? What percent of the marketing budget should go into it? In every economy, but especially during a sluggish one, marketing must be directed to our surest bets- to our best customers.
But who’s the best customer…now?
The realities of a slowdown make us reconsider our target market. Think of the following:
- What are the feelings of a satisfied customer when they use our product or service?
- List possible reasons why a customer would not (continue to) use our brand?
- Given these two considerations, who is most likely to be satisfied with our brand?
The more precise our answers, the more guidance we have in determining our marketing audience.
Develop Deep Relationships Not A One Time Customer
People that are serious about wellness will not compromise their values in the face of an economic storm. But they will reevaluate how our brands fit into their lifestyle. By maintaining a personal connection, a real human touch, we reinforce our commitment to our customers and their concerns.
How does this look in action? Well, let’s say your eCommerce store just got a sale from a new customer. Don’t just ship the product the standard way as you used to. Review your follow-up emails, and make sure that it feels personal and relevant. If you’re a local fitness or yoga studio, think of new interesting ways that make students feel part of something truly special.
But Where To Acquire Wellness Customers In A Bear Market?
In a slowdown, there’s no escaping the fact that we have to blast our message as if our lives depended on it. We cannot get traffic to our sites, customers in the doors, or orders filled, if we don’t put our message under people’s noses and get them to sniff.
But which tactics to use? It depends on the kind of brand you are, and the customers you serve. You can speak with an agency or consultant if you want ideas, or you could think about it with your team. However you do it, make sure there is someone dedicated to keeping a close eye on your costs and conversions for each campaign. Make sure your ads are being continuously tested by sensible metrics and that you understand what’s working and why. But most importantly, make sure your message is clear and crafted with a specific audience in mind.
In a bull market a high enough ad budget could substitute for a good strategy…in a bear market, there is no substitute!