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Building Products
December 22, 2022

4 Ways to Market to DIY Homeowners During a Recession

The last economic downturn between 2007 and 2009 pushed a lot of companies to cut or eliminate their marketing efforts. However, with the threat of another potential economic recession looming, it is strongly encouraged to continue marketing efforts to stay connected with your audiences and not go quiet or off the grid.  

Here's why: During a financial downturn, there are many opportunities to engage with homeowners who are more likely to renovate and remodel their existing homes rather than look for a new one. While competitors pull back, you can find ways to provide the most value with your products and raise your brand's share of voice (SOV) through tweaked messaging, loyalty programs, organic content and media relations activities.

Even though no two recessions are alike, now is the time to strategize. Start by looking at your brand's current messaging to see how you can tweak it to better align with the climate and strengthen the relationship with homeowners during these tough financial times.  

Tweak Messaging

Since not all customers react the same way during a recession, how can you encourage your target audiences to continue to purchase your product? The solution is to create a sense of need during a downturn.

This is where marketing strategy and messaging shine, and your business can stand out from competitors. For example, as mortgage rates and new construction costs increase, consumers may not want to move or build new homes. Instead, many will choose to remodel their existing homes. What messaging can you use to continue to engage your audiences who fit into this category?  

Reworking messaging to address your audience's pain points is one way you can engage them.. How can you help them navigate this recession? According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, messaging that reinforces an emotional connection with the brand to demonstrate empathy is vital.  

Understanding that emotion drives your consumers is critical to marketing during a recession. The Harvard Business Review article segments consumers into four emotional response categories:

  • Slam-on-the-brakes – These consumers try to reduce or stop all spending as much as possible
  • Pained-but-patient – They reduce spending but not as aggressively as the slam-on-the-brakes consumers
  • Comfortably well-off – Keep buying, but they are more selective in their purchases
  • Live-for-today – These consumers carry on as usual but delay significant purchases  

Once you understand which emotional response drives your target audiences, you can tweak messaging to build upon their customer loyalty.  

Expand Customer Loyalty

Expanding customer loyalty by providing open communication and robust resources, including a content library for DIYers/homeowners, builds trust that your brand isn’t going anywhere during a recession. Start by looking at your content to see what can be tweaked to apply to the DIY/homeowner audience. Any new content created can always be written to appeal to both DIY/homeowners and your contractors, so it’s a win-win

By doing this, your brand can pivot and create value-added resources that contractors can pass to homeowners taking on DIY projects or looking for ways to continue saving money. Others will start to see what your company is doing and say, “Wait a minute, this brand isn’t going anywhere and is giving me what I need”.  

After solidifying loyalty, you should leverage your products and services to provide maximum value for your customers.

Provide Maximum Value

As a building product brand, stand out from your competition by providing in-depth instructions that homeowners can use for their DIY projects. Can you provide more educational resources or a step-by-step guide to follow when they tackle a DIY project in their home? Platforms like YouTube and TikTok make it easy for your customers to access any instructional videos.

Ensuring your customer service is available to answer questions is another way to provide maximum value. If someone has a question about your instructions, having support readily available plays a part in adding value to your brand or product.  

You can also bundle products or services for your customers and give them all the components necessary to install it themselves for added convenience. Providing consumers with a list of project tools and building materials goes beyond just supplying the product, it shows you support them. It makes it easier for them to get it right. There is also value in providing educational videos or one-sheeters to aid in projects.  

With all these great resources and initiatives that provide maximum value, how can you ensure you show up when your audience is searching for help?

Fine-tune Organic Search Content

Programs like SEMRush can help you to optimize your organic content. Leveraging organic keywords to understand what your audience is searching for will help you stand out from your competition. Optimizing existing blogs can boost your SEO and can push your content ahead of your competition. You can't change consumer buying habits, but you can still be top-of-mind for the long term.

If you need assistance tweaking your audience messaging or finetuning your organic reach, the True team would love to talk to you. So let's start the conversation today!  

Do you want to learn more about marketing during an economic downturn, including strategies and opportunities that only occur during recessions? Check out our eBook: Marketing During a Financial Downturn: What you need to know to be Successful.


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