What to advertise during an economic downturn?
In an ideal world, everyone would have a large amount of disposable income available to them so that they could buy whatever their heart desired. This would also be great for advertisers, as their job would become that much easier. The reality, though, is that most consumers are at the whim of the current economic state, which means that there are going to be periods of time when they have money to spend and also when the finances are particularly tight. In an economic downturn, advertisers need to be a little more creative, which they can adapt in the following ways:
Appease uncertain consumers
When there is uncertainty about the economy, people tend to be less willing to spend, even if they are financially comfortable. Advertisers need to use language and deliver promotions that help remove some of that uncertainty. There are a few ways in which they can successfully do so, some of which we will get into in the points following this one.
Focus on essentials
No matter how tough things are financially, people do still need to spend money on the essentials. Rather than focusing on trying to sell big ticket luxury items, a sluggish economy should encourage you to go with the essentials. People may not be out buying cutting edge consumer electronics during this period, but they do still need to eat and practice good hygiene. Health care products and services might have a high price tag but they can still be essential. However, typically lower priced items and bargains are what people are on the lookout for when times are tough.
Set smart pricing
As a publisher, you can still make money from advertising even when things are not going well with the economy. It’s all about being smart about the ads that you choose to show, which is why you should be on the lookout for advertisers that want to place ads where they are pushing sales, discounts, and promotional offers. Products offered up as a free trial are also good here, as people will certainly remember the help they received once the economy starts looking brighter and there is more money to spend.
Offer suitable products and services
Stability is key when things are bad with the economy, as that can bring some positives to people in a highly uncertain time. Focusing on products that are insured or which deliver a guaranteed return are always good, which is why CD’s and insurance are always good go-to products when things are not going so well with the economy.
Lower ad rates
It's not just consumers who get a little gun shy when money is tight. Advertisers will also hold off spending money on marketing campaigns if they do not believe that they are going to get an adequate return. One way to get around that as a publisher is to consider setting a lower ad rates in your adserver
during troubled times or offer discounts and promotional rates. While you may be making less per ad, you have a steady income stream to sustain your business operations through the recession. On the other side, advertisers will have less competition when buying ad spaces and more available ad inventory to choose from.
- Ad serving in an uncertain economic time
"When the economy takes a nosedive, such as it does during a global pandemic or some other type of disaster, we enter into a time of fear and uncertainty. Businesses and consumers both need to be smarter with their money, which can lead to a bit of a slow down in the world of ad serving. " More
- Ad serving in a post-pandemic world
"No-one really knows for sure when a global pandemic will end, but there are usually signs that things are close to getting back to normal. Seeing the economy begin to slowly re-open and sports leagues allowing players to return to training, albeit under strict social distancing regulations, are just a couple of signs that there might be some light at the end of what has been a very long pandemic tunnel. " More
- Knowing your audience when serving ads
"There are several different elements that go into creating a successful advertising campaign, not all of which may be known to you at this point. It is all about understanding what does and does not work when serving an ad, and then being able to make changes on the fly in the ad server that can turn an underperforming campaign into one that delivers a positive ROI. " More