Your marketing budget – the first victim during a downturn.
It’s the same old story. A downturn is forecast, and businesses decide to batten down the hatches, freezing recruitment and restricting marketing budget.
But the evidence shows this approach could be a mistake.
McGraw Hill found that companies that maintained (or increased) marketing during the early 1980s recession achieved 256% higher post-recession sales than competitors that failed to continue their advertising efforts.
In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits of continuing to market during a downturn. And, more importantly, show you how you can keep your marketing activities humming even when your budget is being squeezed.
Marketing during a downturn: Five benefits.
With a downturn on the horizon, it can be tempting to “play it safe”, but this could put you at a disadvantage. In fact, it could present a fantastic opportunity for your business to grow market share and build resiliency.
Here are five reasons you should keep marketing during a downturn.
1. Stay front of mind.
Marketing keeps your business visible to prospective customers. If you reduce marketing during a slump, you risk losing that visibility. And, when you don’t know how long the slump will last, that can put real pressure on your business as time passes.
2.Catch the competition.
If you keep marketing during a downturn and your competitors don’t, you’ve got a huge opportunity to increase market share and win business. This means both short-term wins as you seize attention in a less competitive market, and long-term success as you build your body of clientele.
3.Make your budget go further.
As we mentioned above, there’s less competition for advertising during economic troubles. This means the price of ad space falls. You’ll make your budget go further and reach a broader audience by taking advantage of reduced costs.
4.Keep customers close.
Continuing your marketing efforts is not only great for winning new business. It reassures your existing customers. They’ll also be feeling the pressures of the downturn, but if you can remind them how you deliver value for their business, you can develop your relationship.
5.Seize long-term success.
While marketing during a downturn presents opportunities for short-term growth, it also positions your business for future expansion. Once things start to look up again, you won’t have to spend time getting back up to speed and winning lost customers. You can maintain momentum without missing a beat.
How to stay fluid with your marketing.
There’s clear value in marketing during a downturn but getting it right can be tricky – especially if your headcount budget has been frozen. How can you maintain momentum and growth when the purse strings are tightening? By taking a fluid approach.
If your business decides to freeze headcount during the downturn, but you’ve still got marketing budget, you could put this towards managed services to fill a skills gap. As managed services are funded by your marketing budget and standard SOWs, not headcount, you can still bring in specialized talent to supplement your team (for as long as you need it).
You’ll be able to be as flexible as you need to be in turbulent times.
By using skills-based managed services rather than going through HR also helps your business save on provisioning, HR, and onboarding costs, further cementing the cost-effectiveness of the approach. It means you can get the skills you need, for as long as you need them, at great value.
Keep moving during a downturn.
Although it may be tempting to reduce marketing spending in hard times, keep in mind that marketing is an investment in your company’s future.
You can position yourself for success in the short-term as well as the long-term by retaining brand awareness, increasing market share, taking advantage of cost savings, remaining in touch with current clients, and planning for future growth.
Taking a fluid approach to the talent in your team, as well as how you access talent and use your budget can make the difference between failure and success during tough economic times.
To find out more about how Fluid Talent Managed Services could help your business, reach out to us today.