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Marketing should be the last thing you cut when times are tough

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the cost of living, the global economy and how we’re in for a tough time. For us as individuals that means tightening our belts and being frugal. For a business, it often means cutting marketing spend or putting marketing on hold.

Marketing is often the first thing companies cut when they start to get nervous about a recession.

the word budget being cut up by scissors

To cut or not to cut in tough times?

A few years ago I had the pleasure of working with an MD who was very forward thinking and believed that when times were tough, you needed to up your marketing activity and invest in brand building. His reasoning was quite simple: when things started to improve, customers would contact his company, not the competitors they’d forgotten about.

Sadly I’ve also worked for people who cut the marketing completely because business is down or budgets have been overspent elsewhere in the company.

It’s frustrating that these companies don’t understand the true value of marketing. Quite simply, if you cut your marketing then you lose market share. You can’t just then turn it back on overnight, it takes at least a couple of years to start building your brand back up again.

Invest in your brand

Investing in your brand has a direct impact on future sales. But that doesn’t mean to say you need to break the bank doing this. Just adapt your strategy to the current situation and make it more efficient.

So how can you continue to market when times are tough?

• Firstly, review your market. Where are your leads coming from? If they’re from a specific sector or through a marketing activity or channel, put more effort into this area, it’s clearly working.

• Increase your visibility by creating valuable content that shows your authority, addresses your customer’s pain points, answers their questions, and solves a problem.

• Adapt your messaging. Don’t forget your customers are also finding it tough, so look at how they’ve changed their buying habits and adapt your messaging. Rather than going for the hard sell, show them you understand them, you care about them, and nurture them.

Businessman in suit with hands up holding a heart

• With other companies pausing their activities, there’s likely to be fewer companies spending on PPC, which means search term bids will come down. Now’s the time to review your campaigns and keywords. Less competition can only mean more opportunities for you.

• Do you really need all those marketing channels and tools? Everybody loves a gadget or the latest tool on the market. They may help to streamline your workflow, but do you really need them, can you switch to a free channel or tool instead or even stop them completely?

• Make your website really work for you. Update old blogs, product and service pages to make them more engaging.

Marketing shouldn’t be expendable

So rather than pausing your activity, look at ways to market smarter and protect your sales pipeline. Marketing isn’t something that can simply be paused or switched off and then started again.

It takes time to build momentum and when things start to improve, can you afford to be left behind the competition?

Do you need help deciding what you should do with a limited budget, how you can update your website, or simply want help writing great content drop me a line or give me a call. Let's have a chat.


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