As the economy has worsened over the past several months, the knee-jerk reaction of many companies is to cut spending significantly. Where do they typically start with their budget cuts? Oddly enough, with their marketing campaigns. See, for some reason, many businesses seem to believe that marketing is a discretionary spend. To me, that’s like saying gas for your car isn’t really necessary, and food is optional too.
MARKETING IS NOT OPTIONAL!
But, since some companies seem to think it is, that means you have several reasons to cherish the opportunity of marketing during a recession.
Fewer competing voices- As more companies continue to cut their marketing budgets, this means consumers are being hit with fewer advertisements. Usually, you have to compete with several other voices, and it’s difficult to stand out in the crowd. Now, your competitors are cutting marketing spending; so, your voice is suddenly a lot louder and clearer to your target audience.
Hit ‘em where it hurts- Your job during a recession is to figure out where exactly your competitors cut their marketing spending. Did they slash their PPC budget? Or are they giving up on direct mailings for the time being? Figure out the shortcomings of your competition, and hit them where it hurts. Again, taking advantage of the channels they aren’t using just makes your voice that much louder and clearer. And it gives you a huge head start for when the economy comes back around. Take this time to become the leader in your industry.
Keeping up appearances- In many ways, marketing during a recession is about keeping up appearances. You want to show your target audience that your company is strong and that this economic turmoil won’t bring you down. By showing the resilience of your company during a recession, you also subtly remind customers that the competition is notably missing. This creates the impression that you’re the true industry leader, and it builds trust with customers as they know you’ll always be there.
Clean up past mistakes- When everything is going great, it can be easy to overlook the flaws in your marketing campaign. Cash flow is great, and it doesn’t seem that important that you’ve neglected targeting new keywords or building a social media presence. Then, when the economy takes a downturn, the severity of these problems slaps you right in the face. Take advantage of this downtime by fixing the flaws in your marketing campaign. That way, the fundamentals of your campaign will be strong for when the economy springs back to life.
The bottom line with marketing during a recession is this: don’t panic. Marketing is more important now than ever before. Never view marketing as a discretionary spend. It’s an investment into the future of your company.