An old Chinese proverb “Dig the well before you are thirsty” sums it up. And, in these volatile economic and emotional times, thinking about the future may be preferable to living in the present. At least PLANNING for the future can be done at no better time than today. And, it might even ease the pain of living today and watching as the financial markets swing wildly.
The first – and most common –action when economic things are scary to a business is to cut the marketing budget. It makes sense, after all. When you have less income coming in, it’s best to cut expenses where you can and marketing is the easiest function to slash without affecting day-to-day business operations. Or so it may seem.
The other option is the choice the wises business person makes, and that is to focus on marketing, and start with planning how best to reach the right people with the right message so they will take action, even in tough times. In a downturn, when money is tight and consumers are making tough choices, marketing is more important than ever before. This presents a great opportunity when others are cutting marketing to get in front of your target audience and show the consumer why your products or services deserve their dollars. Customers who may have been in the bag when the economy is riding high suddenly need some extra convincing. They need to hear your message. That’s where strategic marketing comes into play.
In an classic interview with BNET, Dr. Gary Lilien, author of “Turning adversity into advantage: Does proactive marketing during a recession pay off?” a report by Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, pointed to three factors that should be considered before determining whether a marketing endeavor is worth the expense:
• Do you already have a marketing infrastructure in place? If not, it’s going to be difficult in this economy to launch a brand new marketing arm from scratch.
• Does your company have “the guts” to throw down the marketing dollars during a recession?
• Does your company have the budget to spend the money without damaging normal business operations?
“Companies that have been looking at marketing as an investment, and not an expense, and have been running their business through customer knowledge are the ones that are going to come out of this [recession] really, really well,” the article quotes Lilien as saying.
It’s important as well to make certain that your marketing efforts are reaching consumers through venues that they frequent. It’s pointless to spend money on distributing a message that no one will ever see.
Using a variety of media, including the traditional as well as e-mail and social media- outbound and inbound efforts makes it more likely to reach both an older market as well as younger consumers.
No one knows right now what the economy is going to do. If expenses have to be cut, however, choose – but choose wisely. If you abandon your marketing efforts completely, you may soon find that your revenue is going the way of the stock market when it is dipping down.
Come to corecubed for help. We have strategic marketing services that can fit any budget, a talented team that understands how to get business to come a knocking, even when financial times are tricky.