How Great Marketers Adapt to Rising Inflation (6 Strategies)

Are rising costs and declining sales putting a wrench in your sales and marketing plans?

If yes, this brief tutorial is for you.

That’s because this article will reveal some simple, effective strategies you and your marketing team can use right now to adapt to inflation, increase sales, reduce costs and create even more loyal, happy customers!

Marketers can adapt to rising inflation these 6 ways: 

  1. Become clear on exactly how inflation is affecting your customers and your sales 
  2. Tighten up your marketing budget
  3. Adjust your short term marketing mix 
  4. Craft a sales strategy to raise prices, if needed 
  5. Master the art and science of RFM analysis (Recency, Frequency, Money) 
  6. Stay focused on the Law of 80/20 in your marketing

Let’s now review some strategies on how marketers should adapt to rising inflation.

6 Ways Excellent Marketers Can Adapt to Rising Inflation

Great marketers are unique in a business because they usually are the first to sense something brewing in the marketplace. The accounting team realizes what the marketers see shortly thereafter because they also focus on important Key Performance Indicators that stay close to the pulse of the company.

If you have not read 5 Marketing Strategies for Business Survival During a Recession, now is a good time to review. That’s because, when you implement all the strategies laid out in both of these tutorials, you will find that in these times of turmoil, you might uncover opportunities and come out ahead when times of inflation andor a recession (also called stagflation) start to normalize.

Here are 6 strategies you can use right now to adapt to rising inflation:

1. Become clear on exactly how inflation is affecting your customers and your sales 

Now is a good time to get with your team for a recent SWOT analysis and a Porters 5 Forces analysis.  Regardless of the source of the causes, and regardless of cost-push inflation or demand-pull inflation, things are changing rapidly and you and your team need to review the facts. 

You need to review the landscape, get a handle on opportunities that you can attract and exploit right now, as well as ensure your strengths can still be a competitive advantage now and into the short term. Lastly, get a feel for potential weaknesses and threats, this is where a Porters 5 Forces review can help you with your investigation.

Once you get a feel for the internal and external forces, now it's time to go directly to your customers. If you aren’t communicating with them frequently, start now. Here are four important strategies you need to implement immediately. Start to track customer buying behaviors and survey your customers with a well-developed plan, and then deliver more value in your email campaigns:

  1. Important Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in Marketing
  2. Recency, frequency, monetary (RFM) | Marketing analysis
  3. What Do Your Customers Really Think About You? Here’s How To Find Out
  4. What is Your Email Marketing Strategy?

2. Tighten up your marketing budget

If there was ever a time to review your marketing budget daily and ensure you are dialed in, it’s now.

Stay in close communication with your accounting and bookkeeping team.

Stay intensely focused on:

  • cash flow
  • customer acquisition, and
  • customer retention

Ensure there is no waste in the budget via excess spend, non-productive advertising campaigns, and remove the near-worthless “branding” ads that neither produce sales nor trackable events. 

Go here for more information about tightening up your budget:

3. Adjust your short term marketing mix 

A long term Kaizen-style strategic vision and plan for your business is always important.

But when the immediate short-term landscape is changing so fast and furiously, creating an effective short-term action plan becomes ever-more important.

Your budget and your marketing mix is literally what drives your customer acquisition and retention. Nothing is more important to the health of your business. 

But, your 1-year marketing plan may need some zigs and zags along the way. This is where you need to be flexible and realize that the marketing plan you developed last year may not be the best one for this year, nor for the next 90 days.

Of course we keep a long term perspective, but this is why we promote heavy management of your 90 day marketing mix in the near term.

With so much uncertainty in the cost of capital, the supply chain, rising input costs and customers getting heavily squeezed with the massive rise in products and services,  your short term marketing mix must be flexible.

Know that you may need to innovate new products and offers, creatively reduce price points to attract more customers, and search for better advertising spend opportunities.

To learn more about the Marketing Mix, go here:

What is the marketing mix and why is it important? | The 4 P’s of marketing

4. Craft a sales strategy to raise prices, if needed 

Let’s face it, people dislike price increases, but it’s one way of adapting to rising inflation. 

A clever way of doing this is choosing strategic and gradual increments instead of doing it all at once. Governments and food companies do it all the time, they hike prices in areas, services, or products that the clients will barely notice.

Analyze the price sensitivity or insensitivity of your customers before implementing the increase. Go further and compare that information with what your competitors are doing. Lastly, communicate the decision to the clients to create a consensus and focus on adding more value anywhere you can.

For more information on raising prices, go here:

5 Powerful Strategies to Increase Prices Without Losing Customers

5. Master the art and science of RFM analysis (Recency, Frequency, Money) 

Assuming you have a customer database, we briefly mentioned the importance of the RFM analysis.

And if you don’t do this, make it central to your marketing systems starting immediately.

Onward.

One of the important strategies here is to retain customers. That is, find a way to reward existing clients so they feel wanted and valuable to the business. 

After all, retaining a customer is far more cost-effective compared to getting a new one. This is especially true for the loyal ones still supporting the venture during inflation.

A customer loyalty program will go a long way in pleasing your loyal clients. You can create a point system where people can redeem certain points for goods and services. Customers who bring referrals from their networks can get a free product or service. Furthermore, you can offer discounts on purchases above a specific limit, say $100.

The options are endless. Start simply.

6. Stay focused on the Law of 80/20 in your marketing

Now is not the time to spend 80% of your time, money and resources wrapped up in the near-endless activities that produce 20% of your results.

Please read that again.

It sums up most of the corporate world.

Which is why this is such a powerful principle, and can literally give you a competitive advantage in itself.

Also known as the ‘Rule of 80 / 20’, at StrategicMarketingPartner.com we are huge fans of the Pareto Principle. If you aren’t familiar with this rule, it says:

80% of your results come from 20% of your activities.

This is especially true for sales and marketing activities.

But the opposite is true, too.

20% of your results come from 80% of your activities.

So, where does it make most sense to focus your efforts?

Focus on the 20% activities, of course.

Identifying those high value 20% activities can be the hard part. But it doesn’t have to be. For more information about applying the Law of 80/20 to your marketing, go here:

How does the 80/20 rule apply to marketing? (Pareto Principle)

Rising inflation hurts almost everyone. But you can stay ahead of the trends by doing these activities laid out in this tutorial. And, when done right, you might just identify opportunities that won’t just help you survive inflation but you and your business might just thrive.

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