The other day I was asked to speak on the reasons why marketing is important during tough times.
At first I thought it was a topic that was pretty obvious. That I would be talking about a lot of really mundane reasons why you should do some marketing at all times. Let alone when things are tough.
However, when I gave it some thought I realised that there are a couple of less-obvious reasons why investing in a bit of extra marketing during tough times might actually be a brilliant idea.
2 Obvious and 5 Less-Obvious Reasons
Here are 7 good reasons to invest in marketing during tough times.
The first couple are pretty obvious but there are some reasons there that I think are often overlooked:
1. Same reasons as in Good Times
Yes that’s right. It’s always a good time to invest in strategic marketing. A consistent approach to marketing will help you avoid those pesky peaks and troughs that so many business owners complain about.
Notice I said ‘Strategic Marketing’. The key here is to have a Marketing Strategy followed by a well-planned 12 to 24-month Marketing Activity Schedule.
Without implementation your strategy has a lot less value and without strategy your money spent on implementation may be wasted.
2. Sales can be scarce
Another obvious reason is that in tough times gaining sales and customers can be much harder. Money and confidence levels are in short supply and customers take longer to make decisions and quite often delay spending or decide not to spend.
This means you may need to work harder during tough times rather than plan on cutting costs in this area.
I know you knew this already, however, my list would be just plain inadequate without this inclusion.
3. Sales can be easier
Well here is one that I think is sometimes overlooked.
Sometimes gaining sales and new customers can be easier in tough times.
This is because many of your competitors may be implementing knee-jerk cost-cutting initiatives and scaling down their marketing, sales teams and customer service levels.
This competitor activity may make it easier for you to make sales and gain new customers.
4. Marketing can be cheaper
Sometimes during prolonged tough times the cost of marketing can actually be cheaper.
Newspapers, radio stations and associated marketing service providers (even Marketing Consultants!) may offer special deals to boost their sales making your marketing costs lower.
Your marketing suppliers may be more desperate than normal!
Sales Team salaries may be less buoyant and staff less likely to jump ship for short-term salary gains.
The result may well be that you can invest in similar levels of marketing at a lower cost than normal – how good is that for a reason to invest in marketing during tough times!
5. Increased Profit
Sometimes your own core product/service input suppliers are under duress during extended tough times.
Your core inputs suppliers may be more desperate than normal
This can mean that you can negotiate supply arrangements to boost your profitability across your core product or service range.
Sounds cruel and callous and so I knew it would be a popular idea coming from a marketing company.
This improved buying power can result in you having a more profitable range of products or services.
So this may be an additional reason to ramp up your marketing and sales activities during tough times.
6. Stronger relationships
If your competitors are downsizing their marketing and their sales activities then there is a good chance that they are reducing service levels to their customers (i.e. your competitors may be neglecting their customers). If your competitors are neglecting their customers this provides you with an excellent opportunity to do the opposite and to invest more heavily in forging stronger relationships with your customers (and/or your competitor’s customers).
7. Get a lead on competitors and come out stronger
Finally, another great reason to invest in marketing during tough times is so that you come out of the tough times a lot tougher and in a much better position than your competitors.
If you invest in strategic planning and/or strategic marketing implementation when times are tough then there is an excellent chance that you will be in a much stronger position when the marketing climate changes for the better.
This gives you a head start over your competitors and helps you grow and prosper much more rapidly as the market recovers.
Strategic Marketing Works
Believe it or not, strategic and well considered marketing works
During tough times you may need to be extremely careful with your marketing investment but this does not mean it is smart for you to put it on hold altogether.
As I mentioned above, the key to sales and marketing success in ‘good times’ or ‘tough times’ is sound Marketing Strategy combined with Strategic Implementation.
This means having a good Marketing Strategy combined with a well-considered 12 to 24-Month Schedule of Marketing Activity.