By Heather Isch
Marketing is a lot like financial planning. When tough times hit, we need to stay the course and only adjust where necessary. We’ve been through tough times before and, if we stay focused on what is important and avoid making emotionally charged decisions, we will be okay.
The first thing that many businesses, particularly those in the business-to-business area, do in times of fiscal trouble or uncertainty is cut their marketing budgets. Usually, this move is made to reallocate the often significant “pot” of money earmarked for Marketing to other areas such as the bottom line. While this may seem like a win in the short term, there is a problem with diverting those funds.
Not marketing your company and not talking to your customers will manifest itself as a much larger problem down the line. Six to 18 months later you are likely to have conversations along the lines of:
- “Why don’t we have any projects in the pipeline?”
- “Should we lay people off?”
- “Why are we so light in our production/manufacturing departments?”
That’s why our advice to you is to stay calm and keep your marketing plans in place. Don’t just take our word for it; look at history and research. According to a study by Dr. Ourania Notta on marketing strategies during crises, increasing or maintaining advertising in times like these has been shown to increase sales, income, and market shares during and after a recession or time of economic uncertainty.
We understand that these circumstances may already have you restructuring your business’ plans. Many of our customers depend on trade shows, events, and face time with customers as a primary marketing tool. With these approaches no longer possible, it’s time to get creative.
How do we stay in front of customers when we can’t travel or meet in person? Our first plan of attack is to better leverage digital media. Online campaigns, social media, webinars, enews, and video conferencing are tools that the LKF team regularly uses when face-to-face interaction or trade show marketing isn’t feasible.
As Americans, our best attribute is coming together in the face of a crisis. Let’s use our powers for good by leveraging our creative thinking and sharing our solutions with others.
If you’d like to share how you are staying in front of your customers and continuing to drive our economy, weigh in on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Together we will all get through this!