“When times are good, you should advertise. When times are bad, you must advertise.”
This classic adage saying is probably one of the most used phrases on all marketing blogs, websites, social media channels and ad magazines at the moment.
As an entrepreneur and founder of a digital marketing agency, I wanted to write this article and share with you some reasons why I believe this is the time when you need marketing the most in order to make it through, especially as a small business. My experience in the marketing field has enabled me to gain a better understanding of the digital space and today, I thought sharing a potentially different perspective might change your mind before you make important decisions regarding your budget.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only affecting our lives right now, but it will definitely have a great impact on the world economy. Small and large businesses alike are faced with new challenges regarding their budgets, investments, employees and that could also mean a very difficult time for startups as well. With different strategies in mind, business owners are thinking of any expenses they could reduce in order to save some money. Marketing might be one of the expenses that come to mind first, but that could turn out to be a huge mistake. According to Forbes, “In the aftermath of the last recession in 2008, ad spending in the U.S. dropped by 13%.” and businesses who kept their marketing activity managed to do better in terms of profits once the recession was over. A great example of that is Amazon, who released Kindle during that year and became stronger because of it, increasing its market share in a time where the global economy had collapsed.
That being said, there might a valuable lesson we learned from that when it comes to marketing. Here are three reasons why you should not cut your marketing budget:
As the marketing budget might seem like an obvious cut for many small companies at the moment, it will only have a short-term potential positive effect that will trigger a long-term negative impact on your business. It is important to continue to stay active on your social media, website and any other digital channels. Brand awareness is going to benefit you in the long run, long after this crisis is over. Even though engagement and traffic rates might be a bit lower than usual right now, as people are adjusting to the new changes in their lifestyle, they will soon return to their interests, needs and habits. This means they will be able to notice you in the digital space and start recognising your brand.
Sense of Stability
In fact, many would argue that this is the time to maintain your marketing budget and increase your online activity in order for your business to continue to get digital exposure and providing your audience with a sense of stability when it comes to your brand. With most people transitioning to a very different lifestyle than the ones they’ve been accustomed to, such as working from home, staying indoors a lot of hours and dealing with social distancing, fear and uncertainty can become overwhelming. From panic buying to being reluctant to go outside, it is crucial that they get a sense of stability in their lives and being able to continue your usual marketing activities will prove that while you’re aware of the crisis we’re facing, you are choosing to keep pushing and stay active for your audience. It will provide them with some certainty and will definitely benefit your brand in the long-term.
Another reason why you shouldn’t cut your marketing budget right now is that along with the sense of stability that your audience hopes to see from your company, it is also important to use your digital channels to provide support to your clients, audience and your industry/community. It is more important than ever to show you are a brand that understands the needs and concerns of your audience and clients and show that you have the ability to help and support your stakeholders during this difficult time.
It can even be about sharing positivity and empathy to help people emotionally overcome this situation that has disrupted people’s lives around the world and has brought fear and anxiety to most of us. Whether it’s tips, advice, some inspiration or a virtual pat on the back, it is relevant for your audience to understand your brand cares and is there to show support to those around it.
If you are struggling with your marketing right now and would like to discuss it further, you can always get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist you.