Insight 2 min read
To spend or not to spend – is that the question most marketing departments are being asked?
With the looming threat of a potential recession on the horizon, the chitter chatter of marketing spend once again starts to rear its ugly head. With many marketing teams undoubtedly being tasked with how they can cut back on spending with the hope that this can help weather the storm. But what impact does this short-term thinking have? Although it may help to cut the cloth to meet budget demands now, what is the impact that will have on your customer base and business long term?
With some businesses seeing marketing spend as a luxury it’s usually the first area that is targeted to reduce costs. But if history is anything to go by this is usually the wrong move to make. Although those companies that maintain or even increase it during hard times, might not see an impact in the short term, the recovery following is shorter, allowing businesses to bounce back quicker and usually more superior to their competitors.
Let’s take a look back to the great depression in the 1920s when Kellogg’s decided to double their advertising spend while their biggest competitor reduced it. Leading to their profits booming by 30%, taking the market leader position, which they still retain, a century later.
Or during 2008 – 2009, while the world was in recession, Amazon grew its sales by 28% by continuing to innovate with new product development, launching the kindle.
What is the learning here? Now is not the right time to reduce budget but how can we outsmart these challenging times, balancing out the short-term goals with longer-term objectives? We need to look at maximising the budget that you have and being smarter with it.
Here are some top tips…
Focus on your existing customers
We all know that acquiring new customers comes at a price, so focusing on your existing customer base is not only cheaper but more effective as they are easier to convert. In fact they’re 65% more likely than that of a new customer at 13%. So, focusing efforts on maintaining a loyal customer base is going to be more efficient.
Lean on consistent branding
With other businesses cutting back this could be the best time to be front of mind with your audience, so ensuring that you have a consistent brand presence across a multitude of channels that engages with your key target audience could prove invaluable.
But why? Well it clearly delivers the message, emotionally connects your target audience with your products/services, motivates your buyer to buy, confirms your credibility and creates loyalty.
And how? Using the right platform could be a good solution to help achieve this. Our brand hub (our own brand management software) could be the answer.
Empower and encourage your audience
Marketing should always be flexible, having the ability to change and adapt to meet the ever-changing customer needs. But when times might be a bit harder, changing tack and how we communicate to our audience is key. So let’s be empathetic to the current mood of your audience and try to empower and encourage customers that simultaneously builds stronger emotional bonds with them. So maybe it’s not the time for heavy promotional messages, but one that connects with them emotionally and helps rather than sells.
Make your buying experience count
Look at your buyer journey – is it performing as well as it could be? Are there any key drop-offs? What if you could convert just 1% of that abandoned basket? What could that mean to your bottom line?
Continually evaluating performance across channels and where User Experiences could be improved could prove indispensable, sometimes it’s the small tweaks that can make the biggest difference.
Reuse and repurpose content
Just think about all the time and money spent on creating content. Could you look at refreshing an old campaign to give it a new lease of life? Rather than sending that piece out once, reshare and repost in new creative ways to make the most of what you have already created.
So let’s try to hold tight to your marketing budget, after all as Peter Drucker said “Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.”