When the economy starts sinking, it’s tempting to cut any and all expenses. Perhaps revenue has dropped, employee morale has sunk and there’s no sign of a recovery. In this present day, marketing expenses are often the first to go, but in reality they should be the first to stay in the budget.
I know what you’re thinking: That’s easy to say, pal—you’re a marketer! While that’s true, consider that the fulltime job of marketing folks like myself is to get businesses on the map and in front of their ideal clients. Cutting funding to the very strategies that generated clients in the first place seems counter-intuitive at best. Let’s take a look at some other reasons why cutting marketing costs shouldn’t be the first response to economic uncertainty.
1. Beat the Competition! Because marketing is one of the first line items to get slashed, you’ll likely find that your competitors aren’t spending as much, if anything, on marketing. If you cut marketing costs as well, you won’t get ahead of your competitors…you’ll suffer with them. A recession is one of the best times to solidify your position in the market and set yourself apart as an industry leader. If your competition isn’t marketing themselves, you’ll be able to scoop up market share and strengthen your position when the recession starts to fade.
2. Sustain Momentum. Although it’s good to be aware of your competition, it’s not all about them. It’s about you and your company. Marketing serves as the momentum underneath many lead-generating aspects of your business—and when it’s cut, the first place it affects is sales. From there, if you’re not selling and closing new business, your sales force begins to lose its confidence. This instability then inevitably trickles down to many other areas of business, including your employees, not only affecting their daily work habits, but also their personal well-being. When employees are worried about losing their jobs, they will naturally begin looking elsewhere, and the last thing any business needs is an inexperienced work force when the economy turns for the better.
If you’re able to successfully ride out the recession while keeping your marketing efforts in play, you’ll not only survive the recession, you’ll come out stronger. Consider how farmers weather each winter. The businesses who come out ahead are those investing in new equipment and preparing for the upcoming harvest. By preparing for economic recovery via marketing, you’ll not only be in a prime position to surpass your competition and dominate your market—you’ll still be on the map.
Photo credit: green-groups.com