By Catherine Lang-Cline
One of the first budgets that is cut when the economy starts to slow is the marketing budget. This might seem like the right thing to do because it feels like it is an expense that you can do without, but in the end, can you do without it? During the 2008 Recession we, here at Portfolio Creative, marketed more than ever. These are the top 3 reasons why we did:
To let people know that you are still open for business. During dramatic economic changes, if the public does not hear anything about you, they will assume that you did not survive the crisis or are in dire straits. Let them know that you are open of business!
To control your message. If you are not talking about you, who is? Get your message stated your way, in the way that you want it, rather than have stats and news tell a story about how things are happening at large. Your company is unique and if you are having issues, it’s your story to tell. But if you are doing better than the average company, you get to tell that story, too. You get to message things like you are a local company, in business for years, serving the community, etc. These are all things of value that you can share in your message. Be the positive message in a time of doubt. Let them know that as the owner or CEO of your company, you are here.
To plant seeds for when the economy changes. During an economic crisis, many of your customers are trying to sort out the situation themselves. The best thing that you can do is just keep talking to them. Not to sell, per se, but to let them know that you are there for them. You are ready when they are. Because you are not going to change their mind to buy if they are in a panic and you would not be a good partner if you are not sympathetic to their situation. In keeping the communication open with them you are “planting seeds” for when circumstances change. Plus, if only your competitors are talking, who is going to be front of mind when the economy changes? Definitely not your company.
Don’t underestimate the power of communicating with your clients and your community. Keep marketing, keep advertising, keep sending communication through social media, keep sending out press releases, and doing public relations. Keep your team and keep them busy! If your team is not helping you help your clients, this is the perfect time for them to rebrand, get your website more efficient, come up with a new marketing strategy, or just clean up what you have.
Bonus, just about every person in advertising and marketing that I know can work remotely. At times like this, there seems like very little that we can control, but marketing and messaging is something that we can control. So, let’s get busy… this won’t last forever and we have a lot to get ready for.