We may have avoided a recession, but economic uncertainty is still at the forefront of many consumer's minds. Marketers understand that shoppers are currently facing tough decisions about how to spend their money. Back-to-school season is upon us, grocery costs are rising, and inflation speculation runs rampant, all influencing purchasing decisions.
It might not feel like it, but we aren’t strangers to this type of economic upheaval. So, what can we learn from the past to help CPG advertisers flourish in a tough economy? We have three recession-proof advertising tactics marketers can use to guide their brands through the economic bumps toward more solid ground. Let’s start at the top.
Time after time, marketing budgets face cuts when economic outlooks are cloudy. However, research shows that skimping on ad spend can ultimately harm your brand in the long run. So, instead of eliminating spend, brands should use this time to double down on their unique value proposition to the consumer.
It might sound counterintuitive to increase advertising spend, but many of your competitors may decide to go dark or make reductions across advertising channels. By maintaining or increasing your spend, you can capture audience attention more easily where you may have had a smaller share of voice in past quarters. In addition, with fewer of your competitors in market, you can capitalize on reaching more of your target audience.
If you feel like a budget reduction is imminent, we recently wrote a piece highlighting the areas where marketers can focus their efforts for the most impactful spend during an economic downturn. Strategic ad spend is always critical to brands, regardless of consumer behavior, so committing to a plan that focuses on the KPIs most valuable to you should be a top priority. Look at past campaigns, review your results, and move forward with a focused vision of where to best spend your allocated budget.
Once you cement your ad budget, you’ll want to take the steps to ensure your ads reach your target audience. We’ve discussed spray and pray in the past, but with budgets under scrutiny, there is an urgency to demonstrate that you’re targeting the correct consumers who are receptive to your messaging. You’re going to want to sharpen those targeting tools, which may involve employing new methods of audience outreach than you’ve tried in the past, but stay the course!
One method to employ is retargeting. Simply put, retargeting ads allow you to connect with an audience who has displayed engagement with your brand by your predetermined metric. For example, have they visited a specific webpage on your site or abandoned a cart? You will want to reach back out to those consumers who have demonstrated interest in your product and nudge them along the purchase funnel with targeted messaging. And then do it again, and again!
Beyond retargeting, marketers can look to capture different audiences that have been vetted and fit your criteria for an ideal customer profile. Brands may find a partner with tools in place to build audiences uniquely qualified to serve ads outside their owned data. Brands may also rely on partners to target audiences in a highly contextual way, meaning your ads are placed on sites that are relevant to your product. For example, running an ad for pasta on a recipe website would be highly contextual and, thus, more relevant to your target audience.
During this time of economic uncertainty, shoppers are sticking to their grocery lists more than ever. CPG brands that make it on digital shopping lists reap many benefits, including serious staying power through customer list recalls, which encourage repeat purchases. Getting on digital shopping lists also enables consumers to reference lists in-store, influencing both digital and at-shelf purchase decisions.
Ultimately, you want to enable an easy way for your products to get into both digital and physical carts for purchase. Digital lists provide customers with an avenue to create shopping lists and reference in store. We know that 81% of products added to digital lists are in fact purchased. Alternatively, add-to-cart activations connect consumers directly to preferred retailer carts placing promoted products directly into ecommerce carts for online purchase; another opportunity for marketers to explore. Getting on lists AND in carts are both the name of the game when it comes to navigating these tumultuous economic times.
As experts in shopping list marketing, AdAdapted can get your product onto consumers’ digital grocery lists as easy as one click! The seamless customer experience of getting your promoted product directly on digital shopping lists offers an easy win for CPGs looking to maximize both budgets and sales. As the premier platform offering add-to-list and add-to-cart products, we have helped CPG brands time over time push the needle on awareness and sales. With our newest product, Shoppable Video, we add yet another tool in our roster to help brands get in front of their ideal audiences.
So as we push through this murky economic time, you as a marketer should feel confident that you have the resources and knowledge to navigate your brand to success. And when financial outlooks are looking sunnier, your brand will be well-positioned having stuck to budget, built more specific target audiences, and gotten on valuable shoppers’ lists.