Self-help Revolution

Recession Marketing and The Self-Help Revolution. Do you ever feel like the changing economy has lead you into an awkward conversation with your prospects? Should your advertising hint at the economic downturn by offering discounts? Or do you outright declare “recession” in your marketing message?

There are 3 advertising approaches to consider:
1. Overtly discuss economic crisis: “During times like these…”
2. Vaguely refer to money issues: “Helping you save more.”
3. Empower the consumer: “You kin’ do it” —Dunkin’ Donuts

Still talking about the poor ol’ economy? If you answered ‘yes’, customers may be moving on. Consumer skepticism is high and reminders of potential failure are undesirable. American consumers are no longer buying it, literally.

When I hear “times-are-tough” talk, I tend to scan the room for people’s reactions. Primarily, I see furrowed brows and looks of irritation, rather than sympathetic nods of agreement. The real movers do not want to hear about discounting. They’re already working on successful ways to move ahead.

There’s always the reassurance angle but unless your prospects are outside the U.S., you’re preaching the wrong sermon. Markets like Turkey, China and Russia are more likely to be motivated by economic concerns. They remain receptive to messages of reassurance or advertising that acknowledges hard times.

verizon campaign

Self-directed priorities
Have you noticed entrepreneurial activity has climbed as the economy changed? Consumer research* shows self-directed change as a high priority for Americans. In other words, the U.S. market is driven by actions, and less by concerns or distress.

This self-directed consumer is motivated by freedom: freedom of thought, freedom of action. Values like “working hard”, “self reliance”, “taking charge”, and “being in control” are back in vogue. Rather than give up or wait for assistance, Americans prefer the message of “forge ahead”.

Sounds almost…revolutionary. Reminds me of a certain nation’s birthday that’s coming up! Americans have never put up with a restriction of liberties. From the time of writing the Declaration of Independence until now, American innovation runs deep: unsatisfied by status quo, looking for opportunities to change lemons into lemonade.

Here’s my point: Make sure your message is resonating. Talk to your consumer. Are you pushing a foreign message, i.e., placations and reassurances? Or are you conversing with Americans that prefer a self-made message?

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