6 Marketing strategies for businesses in challenging times


6 Marketing strategies for businesses in challenging times


The Nigerian economy is currently under severe strain, with a devalued naira and a staggering 22.79% inflation rate as of June 2023, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).


Rising petrol prices and looming power tariff increases are exacerbating the situation.

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These circumstances, driven by tough government policies, are worsening operational costs for businesses and reducing consumer spending, thereby undermining the profitability and sustainability of small businesses.



Given these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, it can be challenging for small businesses to find a silver lining. However, the key to survival is identifying opportunities and adapting accordingly.


We will outline some key marketing strategies that can empower small businesses to weather the storm.

Some of the strategies include:

Identify Emerging Market Needs: Crisis situations often lead to shifts in consumer behavior, creating new needs. For instance, power shortages may increase the demand for energy-efficient products or alternative power solutions. Businesses must swiftly identify these changes and adjust their product offerings and marketing strategies accordingly.


During the pandemic, noticing an increase in health consciousness, some businesses pivoted to produce health and safety products like masks and hand sanitizers. Similarly, power shortages could trigger a heightened demand for energy-efficient products or alternative power solutions.


Prioritize Value Creation: Amid high inflation, consumers favor products that offer high value. Focus on highlighting the unique value and benefits of your offerings in your marketing messages, rather than competing solely on price. Small businesses such as supermarkets and online grocery stores can offer package deals or bundled products, focusing their marketing messages on savings and value for money rather than merely competing on price.

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Invest in Relationship Marketing: Strong customer relationships can serve as a lifeline for businesses. Building these relationships through regular communication, loyalty programs, and customer appreciation initiatives can help retain existing customers and attract new ones through word-of-mouth marketing. Regular updates about new offerings or events can help maintain a strong bond with customers.


Leverage Local Resources: High exchange rates have made imports costlier, thereby providing opportunities to source locally. Highlighting local sourcing in marketing campaigns can appeal to consumers’ sense of community and set businesses apart from competitors.

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Form Strategic Alliances: Collaborating with other businesses allows you to pool resources and reach a larger audience without significantly increasing your marketing budget. Consider partnering with complementary businesses for joint promotions, events, or package deals. For example, a beauty salon could cross-promote with a photography studio, offering special packages for clients who have upcoming photoshoots. Such alliances can help both businesses reach new customers.

Focus on Customer Education: In uncertain times, customers crave guidance. Offering expert advice through content marketing like blog posts or how-to guides, can build trust and position your business as an industry leader. An organic farm could blog about the benefits of organic eating, how to cook with organic ingredients or host cooking workshops.

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In economically challenging times, the key to survival lies in adaptability and a keen understanding of changing customer needs and behaviors. These strategies offer a roadmap to help small businesses navigate these tough economic times.

Culled from Vanguard


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