Communicating Amidst the Economic Downturn

Communication indiWhatever economic conditions are current, consumers still have to eat, drink, buy soap, and go to restaurants. Consumers also still go traveling and save money in the bank. Where are their preferences? It depends on which brand is the most interesting in the condition of the economic downturn. So, communicating in this condition is very important.
The condition in 2016 is expected to be better than in 2015. The economy will recover and inflation will decline. Brands must be able to take chances quickly. The winners are those who are fast, and they are not necessarily the greatest. So brands have lots of opportunities to grow in this period.
Listen carefully
Under this circumstance, each brand must develop a specific strategy to address the challenges facing consumers. Some brands make smaller packaging with cheaper price, which immediately bursts with customers. Some others make more affordable new variants. It is even in the difficult times that various innovations appear. This is an opportunity that may not happen twice in the future.
To really understand the unique needs of this era, the skills to listen and develop instant strategies become very important. Digital listening tools allow brands to know any conversations every hour every day. Then, they develop product strategies, communication strategies, messaging strategies, and even innovation strategies.
Learn about the customer’s concern that the brand can answer immediately in a way that has never been occurred to the competitors. Learn what they are expecting in 2016, and how to respond to those expectations. Learn what they hate about your brand and category and how you can get rid of it. This can happen only in the economic condition like this.
Rudiantara, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, stated that as of January 1, 2016, Indonesia will be able to experience the 4G services with a frequency of 1,800. Indonesia’s e-commerce transactions have increased from USD 8 billion to USD 12 billion this year. Brands like Traveloka and Buka Lapak are making massive ad campaigns in various media. It is certain that in 2016 e-commerce will continue to rise. As mentioned in AdAsia 2015, Retail is Detail and Digital. Showrooming is now webrooming.
Try to evaluate, how much have you utilized this development? How can your brand take advantage of this trend and make a profit without having to open the expensive physical outlets? How can you attract your customers to move from a physical store to a digital store?
Digital brand advocates
Having brand advocates is very important in this condition. Since accessing the internet is getting easier and more convenient, consumers will be more engrossed in enjoying digital engagement. They love to create and spread content. They do it to look popular, look cool and look smart or wise. This provides an opportunity for brands to provide the content they need to share and at the same time make them brand advocates.
How can you turn your consumers into brand advocates who faithfully spread your content? How to make them loyal to you?
Brand ambassadors
Having employees who are also marketers is a blessing for the brand in this condition. Build good internal communication; build communications policies that govern the dos and the don’ts. Build good communication guidelines/manuals, conduct communication training regularly, and campaigns to turn them into your ambassadors.
Building ambassadorship provides you with a death squad. And not doing it poses a big risk to you, because we never know when they make mistakes in the digital world that can affect your overall image. Have you created ambassadors within your company? Or do you still have the digital com as a risk factor?
Influencer marketing
Do not do the communication by yourself, because out there, there are many people who are credible and trustworthy to your customers. Work with them to build your brand. Influencer Marketing is one of the important trends in the year 2016 that the world marketers need to learn about. Collaborate with them, create content together, and build brand credibility through their credibility. Turn them into your brand advocates.
Cause-related marketing
The public is getting more sensitive and more respectful to brands that are able to do positive and constructive things for the society. Be careful and smart to build cause-related marketing that involves consumers; make them the center of your activities instead of just the direct objects.
Be smart in building the cause-related marketing that involves consumers; make them the center of your activities instead of just the direct objects.
Indira Abidin
PT. Fortune Indonesia Tbk
Published in Mix magazine, January 2016 edition on page 49