Ellie Thompson, Senior Account Executive at Carrington Communications
It may be tempting to cut back on your marketing spends while the country is experiencing a tough economic crisis – but doing so could make your position much worse.
Before you press pause, you should first take stock, identify the changing behaviours of target consumers, adapt your product or service to suit and put your marketing to its most effective use.
Don’t cut a lifeline
Marketing tends to be the first thing that gets cut when your business is trying to save money, as it’s the easiest thing that you can live without. Afterall, if it’s a choice between spending less on marketing or letting people go, we all know which way the axe should fall.
However, past recessions have taught us that actually, marketing can be greatly beneficial and help to grow your brand faster in comparison to a more stable climate. Indeed, there’s a strong argument for increasing your marketing spend when you need it most because you have the potential to generate higher conversion rates in a more temperamental economy than in a thriving one.
It is instinctive to make your organisation as efficient as possible when times are tough, but you mustn’t forget that your business will ultimately depend on lead generation.
Reducing your coverage and exposure, will invariably mean consumers are less likely to become aware of your business, and they may even take their business elsewhere. This could also damage your brand in the long term and turn a temporary lull into a grinding halt.
Why should I persevere through tough economic times?
In business, relationships matter – especially the connection between you and your customers.
By continuing with your marketing efforts, you’ll stay connected with current customers and potential prospects. If you can keep a stable approach and be consistent, you may even see an increase in conversion and sales.
When times are tough, customers will likely take longer to make their decision and require more persuasion, but loyalty is a powerful force that prevents people from looking elsewhere. However, if you’re out of sight and out of mind, your loyal customers may move away from your brand.
Sales will naturally decline in a difficult economic climate, so your marketing may have to work harder – or smarter- than ever to attract new customers, seek opportunities and upsell to existing customers.
As other companies are likely to be cutting their budgets, you’ll find that there may be less competition, and therefore your adverts are more likely to be seen. By marketing when others are not, you can increase your visibility and lure away customers who were loyal to a competitor that has let their marketing lapse.
Marketing would also put your business in a stronger position once the tougher times pass, ensuring that you’re not on the backfoot when people are looking to spend once again.
How to invest in marketing successfully
You don’t need to drastically change your strategy or target audience despite the crisis, but it’s a good idea to take some time to understand and re-evaluate your audience and their current circumstances. We’d recommend carrying out some up to date market research, and ensure that you are always empathetic and authentic in your approach.
If your company is selling items or a service that isn’t considered an essential, then you may need to consider how you’re positioned and potentially change the angle, pricing or presentation so that you’re more appealing to the buyer.
And if your business does need to pivot and adjust its offer to better suit a changing market, you’ll also need marketing to communicate your new proposition.
Make sure that your online channels are completely accurate and up to date, so your audience knows that you’re still very much open for business. One of the most important things that you can do is to keep interacting with your customers, be generous and ensure that you remain appropriate to the situation.
By understanding and adapting to the ever-changing market, you can provide alternatives to consumers who are struggling, as well as building a positive brand image to ensure that you’re memorable. This will also cement your position in their minds when the economy improves, and they’ll likely head straight towards your business once they are financially able to.
If you need any support or advice in your marketing, then please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.