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In this episode, I wanna share a few marketing mistakes that I’m seeing online business owners make during this Covid-19 and recession crisis. These are mistakes that are costing you customers.

I spent my 20s running marketing campaigns for brands like Unilever and Procter and Gamble - and I took my experience in corporate marketing and turned that into marketing my own online businesses. I've tested different online marketing strategies, tactics, channels, funnels, tools - and over time I've seen what works and what don't.

Click here to download the free guide on all 9 marketing mistakes that online business owners are making, The Recession Proof Marketing For Online Businesses.

Don't forget to subscribe to the show and leave a review on iTunes. It greatly helps the show with Apple's algorithm!

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Download the free Recession-Proof Marketing Guide For Online Businesses: The 9 marketing mistakes stopping you from getting consistent revenue.

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Topics Discussed In This Episode:

  • Why you should not be cutting back on marketing and marketing spend right now
  • The importance of the psychological shifts in our customer's needs
  • Why you should not only look outwards for new leads and sales
  • How a knee-jerk response to a recession can really hurt your online business in the long term

Resources Discussed In This Episode:

Hey guys, welcome back to this week’s episode of Hack Your Online Business podcast, another episode of the Recession Series where I specially tackle what we can do as online business owners during a recession. I hope that you’re listening to this episode from home, while you’re cleaning the house or working out.

In this episode, I wanna share a few marketing mistakes that I’m seeing online business owners make during this Covid-19 crisis. These are mistakes that are costing you customers.

I spent my 20s running marketing campaigns for brands like Unilever and Procter and Gamble - and I took my experience in corporate marketing and turned that into marketing my own online businesses. I've tested different online marketing strategies, tactics, channels, funnels, tools - and over time I've seen what works and what don't.

So I’m gonna walk you through not just the marketing mistakes, but also what you need to do instead. I’m gonna cover a few mistakes, but I have a free guide on all 9 marketing mistakes that online business owners are making, The Recession Proof Marketing For Online Businesses, that you can download for free at www.hackyouronlinebusiness.com/recessionproofmarketing

But before we go on, if you haven’t already left a review for the podcast on Apple’s iTunes, I would really appreciate it if you could let me know your thoughts about today’s episode by leaving the show a review. It would mean so much to me. Now if you leave a review, take a screenshot, tag me on Instagram @thisischrystan and I’ll be sure to give you a shout out on the next episode.

Let’s jump right in. Marketing mistake number 1 that online business owners make is cutting back on marketing. There is a reason why I have this as the first marketing mistake people make during a recession.

When a recession hits, marketing is typically one of the first places online business owners are tempted to cut. This is a huge mistake.

Cutting your marketing budget in a recession will only help defend profits in the very short term, but it will quickly make your online business weakened by a decrease in customers and become less profitable.

Warren Buffett said this in 1986, “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.”

Now, he was referring to the stock market and investing during a recession, but we can take the same principle and apply it for marketing.

If I look at how my own online business is still driving new leads and sales, it’s because I’ve not reduced my marketing and my marketing spend - on the contrary, I’m showing up even more and I’ve increased my marketing budget.

When I look at the businesses that my friends and family are still buying from, I notice that a lot of these businesses are still showing up in front of their target audience.

Whether it’s through the content they continue to create, the ads they continue to run, or through their social media marketing, they are making sure that their brand remains recognizable and top of mind.

Here’s what you should do instead: objectively look at what’s been working and what hasn’t been working. Instead of making rushed decisions to cut your marketing budget, I want you to objectively look at where you’re spending money and what kind of return you’re getting on that money.
For example, if you’ve been running paid ads on different platforms, which platform is giving you the best return on investments? Conversely, which platform hasn’t brought you the sales you thought it would?

My caveat here is if you are struggling right now to put food on your table and pay your rent, then I would look at other ways of marketing that don’t involve paid marketing.

And here’s where it is super important to know your numbers and analytics. A lot of entrepreneurs use the “I don’t like math” excuse to avoid diving deep into the numbers and the actual results of their marketing efforts.
But that is one of the most fatal mistakes an online entrepreneur can make. I highly encourage you to ditch that mindset and start learning how to look at the numbers.

Now the second marketing mistake is not understanding and realizing that your current customers’ psychological needs have changed due to Covid-19 and the recession.

One of the biggest mistakes I see entrepreneurs make is not understanding that their target audience and their current needs and wants will most likely change during a recession.

One of the most important things I always say is to know your demographic, which includes their ages, gender, lifestyle, and beliefs. But in a recession, we want to also consider the psychological segmentation. This takes into consideration the emotional response to the current recession.

Instead, this is what you need to know about your customers right now. During a recession, during Covid-19, our needs as human beings will change. And I want you to think of your customers as falling into four groups:

Group A: The Slam-on-the-brakes group feels most vulnerable and hardest hit financially. They reduce all types of spending by eliminating, postponing, decreasing, or substituting purchases.

When marketing to this group, shout about the wallet-friendly price or DIY. Walmart did this during the last recession. They called out the everyday low price in their marketing.

Group B: The Pained-but-patient group is resilient and optimistic about the long term but less confident about a recovery in the near term or maintaining their standard of living. This is the largest group.

Offer a lower-priced option and focus on the benefits and dependability of sticking with you.

Group C: The Comfortably well-off group feel secure about their ability to ride out current and future bumps in the economy.

Focus on quality when you’re talking to this group.

Group D: The live-for-today group carries on as usual and for the most part remains unconcerned about savings.

You’ll want to remind them that they can’t live without your offer, and you could even offer automatic recurring payments.

The third marketing mistake is having a knee-jerk response to this crisis and changing your brand positioning without a solid business strategy.
We often make assumptions about consumer behavior during a recession. One of the biggest assumptions is that everyone will cut their spending (refer back to mistake number 2), so you might be tempted to discount your offers or even sell cheaper variations of what you normally sell.

You do not want to make the assumption that your target customers are price buyers, which is a dangerous trap to fall into.

Even during a recession, we do not buy exclusively on price but on perceived value, which is the relationship between the benefits or a transformation a product or service offers and the price.

If your online business has been marketing to the middle- or upper-income target audience, a sudden lowering of prices or a knee-jerk brand positioning change could confuse and alienate your loyal customers.
You may attract some new customers in the short term but your online business will be in a weaker position when the recession ends (and yes, it will end!).

Instead, what you wanna do is to focus on the value they’ll get. Remember, it’s always about the value and the transformation and benefits.
Remind your customers why your offer matters. Take time during a recession to reinforce your branding and improve customer satisfaction.
Do a deep-dive of your current target audience and speak to some of your current customers or clients.

Find out what’s on their mind, what kind of help they’re missing, and use these information in your marketing messaging.

We all change as the world changes around us, so it’s important to know how your target customers are changing priorities (if at all) and then redefine your value.

The fourth marketing mistake is looking outwards instead of inwards. You might be thinking “We need more customers!” screaming in your head right now. But I want you to start looking inwards instead of outwards.

What is looking outwards? It means trying to get new leads, new customers, new clients. Looking inwards is looking at your existing customers and leads.

The biggest revenue source during a recession is your existing customers and clients, so are you keeping them happy, loved, and satisfied or has it been “Thanks for buying, bye”?

So spend time nurturing your existing customers and leads. Shower love on them, make them feel extra special. Go the extra mile for them, especially right now when people are feeling more jumpy than normal. We all can do with a little more love in the world.

I would focus on rewarding their loyalty, whether that’s giving them an extra month or an offer on the house, or a discount off if they were to refer another customer or client.

During a recession, some of your best customers might find it difficult to keep paying you for your service or product.

If it’s within your financial means, definitely do consider offering a payment plan to help them through the recession.

I’m gonna wrap this episode up with the fifth and final marketing mistake. There are 4 more marketing mistakes that you can go read about in my free guide, Recession Proof Marketing For Online Businesses, which you can download at hackyouronlinebusiness.com/recessionproofmarketing.

The fifth marketing mistake that you might be making is only looking inwards. You’re only thinking of who you’ve been typically serving and you’re trying to get more of such customers.

While you look inwards at your existing customers, do not make the mistake of not exploring new customer segments as well. During this recession, your usual group of customers might be badly affected and will need to cut spending.

A recession gives you an opportunity to explore new target customers whom you have never considered before.

So I encourage you to expand your target audience, expand your ideal customers, expand your offer if that’s something within your means.

As online entrepreneurs, it should be in our blood to always be on a look out for opportunities, and during a recession, you’ll find lots of opportunities if you’re actively looking for it.

Look at previously unconsidered audience groups and reposition your offers accordingly. This is particularly true if your typical customers are hit hard by the recession.

We talked about the 5 marketing mistakes you might be making with your online business right now. If you find marketing your online business and getting consistent leads and customers to be overwhelming and leave you thinking “OMG what should I do?”, then I want to encourage you to check out my brand new marketing program for online business owners.

It starts April 20th, it’s a 5 week live online marketing training program without the marketing jargons, called Hack Your Online Business Marketing Clinic. For 5 weeks, you’ll be learning with me online how to craft your marketing strategy, how to define your brand persona and your target audience, how to build your brand presence so that you never have to worry about finding customers and leads.

And the best part of it is I’m keeping it at a very low price plus part of each sale will go to 2 charities: Feeding America and The Trussell Trust. I’m very proud of this because in light of the COVID-19 crisis, I am eager to do what we can to support those affected.

To learn more about the 5-week Hack Your Online Business Marketing Clinic, go check out www.hackyouronlinebusiness.com/marketingclinic

Now don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast so that you don’t miss my weekly episodes and the upcoming Recession Series episodes.

Lastly, go connect with me on Instagram. I’ll love to get to know you and your online business. You can find me on Instagram at @thisichrystan, send me a DM and tell me you listened to this episode.

Anyway thank you so much for listening to this episode. Please leave us a review if you have not already, it means the world to me. Alright guys, talk to you soon.

Thanks For Listening, My Friend!

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