And 5 things you should make sure you are doing
Inflation is at a 40-year high and people are using the R-word (recession) more and more. As people and businesses consider tightening their belts, there is a chance that your sales pipeline will start to be less full than before. Prospects may start taking longer to give you an answer or may even park projects in order to reduce outgoings. This may lead to you considering cutting your marketing budget to save money. Here are 5 reasons to continue marketing in tough times.
1. You can take advantage of others cutting their marketing
When things get difficult, companies cut their marketing budgets (here’s what you should be spending, if you’re wondering). Chances are, some of your competitors will do exactly that. This means there is less noise out there. Less competition for you to compete against. Your marketing automatically becomes more effective and is far more likely to be seen by people who have never seen your brand before.
Keep an eye on what your local competitors are doing and if you see their branding less, you will know it is time to keep your marketing going.
2. You can stand out more easily
Even if your marketing messages are different to those your competitors use, they may not have been heard very much. If there is less noise out there, you have a much better chance of being seen and heard. Share of Voice (find out more about Share of Voice here) increases typically lead to an increase in share of market.
3. You don’t want to be forgotten.
You have invested time, effort and money in building brand awareness to this point. It takes time to build a brand, but far less time for people to forget a brand. Perhaps one of the most famous (at least in marketing circles) is the Kelloggs story from the Great Depression. Kelloggs increased its advertising budget whilst the market leader at the time (Post(!)) cut theirs. Post no longer exists and Kelloggs grew 30% in four years and they have been the market leader ever since.
4. You can project stability
In a weak economy, people will look for stable companies for products and services. They want suppliers that will still be there in a few years’ time. By continuing your marketing, you give the impression (even if it isn’t quite true) that you are a stable business and so you’re more likely to get someone’s attention.
5. You can save money
Supply and demand maths says that rates drop. As advertising channels look to keep revenue coming in, they drop their prices. Trade show organisers will reduce stand costs so they don’t have empty stands. Of course, some marketing costs may increase. As buyer behaviours change, those marketing channels that meet the new needs will become more expensive.
Keep an eye on costs, and particularly cost per acquisition, as you continue your marketing.
What you must do
1. Measure your marketing performance
When times are tough, you absolutely need to know the impact of every penny you spend on marketing and advertising. We recently reduced a client’s PPC spend by 85%, without them losing any web leads. If you don’t measure your marketing performance, how do you know what to continue and what to stop? Download our Marketing Performance Calculator here.
2. Stop the hard sell
When times are tough, you may be tempted to push harder to get the sale. Pushing harder is the last thing you need to be doing, as people will react negatively. The more you can help them in tough times, the more likely they are to buy from you when they can.
3. Review your messaging
Your current marketing messages address the needs of your clients and show how you can help. In tougher times, those needs may change and so your marketing messages may need to change too. Think about, for example, how your products or services can save people money, or reduce consumption of energy/consumables/travel – for example. Make sure that you have plenty of evidence available to visitors to your website. If you would like us to review your evidence, click here.
4. Review your budgets
If savings have to be made within the business, what other options are there? Where can savings be made that will allow you to continue marketing?
5. Review your marketing channels
The measurement of your marketing will show you where savings can be made. Savings that can be used on other marketing that can be more effective. Can you make use of channels that are becoming cheaper? Could, for example, Broadcast Video on Demand, or radio advertising be better than TV or magazines? Could direct mail make you stand out, where your emails get lost in the volume?
Turning off your marketing when times get tough is a bad idea, but it doesn’t mean you simply carry on with what you’ve been doing. These 5 steps will help you continue your marketing and make your marketing more effective as they combine with the reduced noise from your competitors making the mistake of turning their marketing down or off.