Marketing in an economic downturn – How to make the most of the weapons already at your disposal

For many, business is harder to come by and profitability is down.

In the hard times, the natural instinct is to go into survival mode and cut back on spending wherever you can.

And one of the areas that often finds itself right at the top of the list of cut-backs is marketing. But cutting back on your marketing is a big mistake.

Why you shouldn’t cut your investment in marketing

If you’re brave, and prepared to take a longer-term view, a recession or economic downturn can actually be an ideal time to increase your marketing spend.

There’s plenty of data available to support the reasons why, but for now, let’s focus on just three:

1. You’ll get ahead of the competition, who are probably cutting back

Based on the assumption that most businesses reduce their marketing investment during a recession, this is your chance to get ahead of the pack.

As someone else said – “Think about it; if two people are talking to you, and one stops and leaves the room, you’re only going to listen to the one who stays and carries on talking.”

By the same token, a brand that’s judged to be on the decline because it’s gone quiet can very quickly see the effect as word-of-mouth spreads and increases the perception of failure.

2. You’ll stand out from your competitors

When customers’ business becomes harder to win, the companies that succeed are the ones that stand out from the crowd.

If you can remain focused on what sets you apart from everyone else, and keep telling the story of why you’re different, you’ll get noticed and remembered – and importantly, by the right people.

Which leads us on to my third point;

3. You’ll be more profitable

When times are tough, it’s tempting to widen the net and take on customers or business you wouldn’t normally want.

Usually it’ll be something outside your core discipline – something you can do, but not particularly well. Or you might simply start dropping your prices to win business.

Either way, your profitability’s going to be affected. Being busy is no good if you’re just a busy fool making no money.

Ok, ok, we get it. Being brave about your marketing in a downturn is A Good Thing.

That’s all well and good, but we’ve established times are tough, and there’s every chance money’s tight too.

So what can you do that’s going to have a quick impact, but won’t be a big investment?

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