When times are tough! 1. Focus on YOUR sales battle, not the economic war!
If business gets really tough and all other options have been exhausted, sometimes, you have no other option than to go unusually quiet – your ad spend has been taken away.
Remember: This short-term financial gain can result in long-term sales pain.
Zero brand communications and visibility across all media will result in a diminishing % share-of-voice – check out Ebbinghaus!!
Competitors stay active, albeit at a reduced level, and they will make significant gains in the mind of your customers.
If this situation is allowed to remain unchanged for a period of time, the cost of getting the brand back to where it was before will be a lot more than the short-term saving.
But all is not lost. While your paid-for media spend might have been frozen, hopefully your staffing resources are secure.
And there’s plenty of valuable activity that can be undertaken to ensure your business remains visible to your most valuable customers and your jobs remain protected.
With any luck, any freeze on your marketing spend is just temporary – and short-lived at that.
But keeping your brand front-of-mind can still be achieved.
1. Activities that don’t require a media budget.
2. Digital content that can be re-used, repurposed, redistributed.
3. Existing customers who can be reached with e-shots, newsletters and social media content – all produced in-house.
4. Journals with editorial space going singing – most publishers will run QUALITY editorial free of charge, especially if you’re an existing advertiser.
It’s a ‘you scratch their back; they’ll scratch yours’ approach!
5. Proven social media channels to communicate your brand message through – again, be ruthless in your choices.
You don’t have to be everywhere. Just where your customers are!
6. Evaluate which areas of your website are most visited / yielding results.
7. Trade shows to visit, network and connect with your customers.
Top tip: If you’re committed to attend a trade show, make sure existing customers get a personal invitation to visit you on the stand or meet you in a networking zone.
Ensuring customers feel important is an essential part of retaining their business
And remember (my favourite saying): People do business with people.
In summary, marketing in tough times is going to be, well…tough!
But keep your eye on YOUR sales battle(s) rather than the bigger economic war.
Identify and react to customer’s changing buying habits, and find ways to add value.
Try and hold your ground by using the above arguments when it’s suggested to Stop Advertising.
If you do need to cut back your marketing activity, measure twice, cut once…but be sure!
And, no budget doesn’t necessarily mean no activity – be inventive.
Finally, listen and evaluate the advice from your marketing support team.
Chances are experienced advisers have navigated these waters before!!
Need more street-wise ideas on how you to keep the brand front-of-mind on a nominal marketing budget?
Get in touch – business and creative ideas are what we’re all about!