Three simple ways to tell the recession is over

The last few months at Maverick have been flat out, with many of our clients having an increased marketing budget and a positive, dynamic outlook that makes me think, in some quarters at least the recession that kicked off in 2007 / 08 with the banking crisis, is now behind us.

It’s not just the sheer volume of work, it’s also the kind of projects I’ve been working on since the election in May.

Strategy

‘Write me a marketing strategy’ is definitely a phrase I heard less of during the recession, when companies were more focussed on immediate returns and stabilising their revenue. But this summer I’ve seen a return to wider, creative thinking, and a willingness to at least think about projects with a longer ROI cycle. When they’re feeling less under pressure, marketing departments can lengthen their view, setting out a co-ordinated set of activities for the next year, or even two years, and think carefully about their messaging and market approach. And one forgotten element of the marketing mix has come up to the surface, its….

The Static Website

‘We want to re-write the website’ is another phrase you won’t hear too much of when the economy isn’t growing. This is a mistake on the part of many companies, who see their websites as unwieldy, difficult to change, complex, cross departmental projects that eat resources and deliver little return, but don’t seem to realise that if that’s how internal stakeholders feel, that’s probably how customers feel too.

A company website is far more important than any other element of marketing communications, because you can guarantee any customer or stakeholder will take a look before getting in contact with you. Two other really important elements are face to face conversations between sales and customers, and sales literature. By the time a potential customer gets to that point, an enormous amount of effort and time, and probably money, will have been spent to get them there, it’s so important to get that very last step right.

But apart from the sale itself, I’d argue that a bad website is a huge barrier to acquiring new customers. Nothing digital should ever be regarded as static, companies need to consider all elements of their website as live (because, your customers can see the pages you regard as legacy, so they do have an effect on the way you are perceived). All companies change, and websites should too.
Many large companies run a web content team, and those web content teams are often understaffed. Adding resources just to get changes live and customer facing can be hugely beneficial.

And finally there’s…

Lunch

I know it sounds flippant, but over the last few weeks I’ve been eating with clients. More and more, marketing is about finding a creative approach to messaging, something that cuts through the endless emails, tweets, and posts. And that creativity is often found when, even if only for an hour, a team are released from the immediate need to account for their time and their ROI.

This summer, it’s been office lunches, but if even this small pace of economic growth continues, I expect to be taken out to the pub pretty soon.

Yes. That’s a hint.

 

Author: Megan Toogood