When the money is tight, the general rule of thumb is that small businesses need to tighten their purse strings and draw back from efforts like marketing and advertising.
What if companies actually spent more on their marketing when things were tough? Could marketing managers justify this to their bosses?
It is not a big secret that many small businesses trying to gain industrial sales leads falter not long out of the gates; with some reports stating more than three-fourths of businesses go under in their first year.
While the reasons can vary, one of the main reasons startup industrial companies bite the dust early is they do not understand what their special niche or true market really is. Without understanding these areas, many companies are doomed to failure.
Before you blow up the marketing budget in this troubled economy, consider the following:
How will you attract new business if you decimate the marketing budget?
What is the competition doing? Assuming a number of them are not applying major blows to their marketing budgets, will they reap the rewards when you axe your budget?
What will your current customers think? Another danger here is that you will stop marketing to the very people who helped establish you in the first place;
Once the economy does improve, is it already too late? You run the risk of having to recover from a point where there is no recovery.
Marketing your business when times are tough doesn’t require a Master’s degree in finances, just some good old common sense. Most importantly, have a well thought out plan in place so that your business can handle just about any situation.
Among the things to include would be:
Objectives – What are our company’s objectives during this rough financial time? If we’re not slashing the marketing budget, do we, in fact, add to it? If so, what areas do we target?
Audience – Given that money is not only tighter for us but also consumers, who exactly should we be marketing to? Are our customers only going to be interested in deals and rewards programs or will they buy like they did in the past?
Competition – What is my competition doing? Since it is safe to assume that they are also feeling the pinch of this economy, have they increased or scaled back their marketing efforts?
Timetables – What are the financial experts saying regarding how long this bad economy will be in place? I can’t just start up a marketing campaign today for tomorrow, so what do the experts believe will happen financially in the next 3 to 6 months?
Even though you may think it is a done deal that your boss or bosses will want to slash the marketing budget in this struggling economy, do not assume that.
Take the time at office meetings to point out that the marketing approach needs to be consistent and cannot be severely reduced or even dismissed in a bad financial climate.
Your competition is having the same meetings your business is in terms of how much and when to market when the economy is bad. Be sure not to pass along customers to them because you were too afraid to market yourself when the economy went south.
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About Ritu Singh
Ritu has over 10 years of experience in planning, facilitating and executing marketing programs. She is passionate about marketing and driven to help start-ups and small to large companies market products and services online and offline.