There is a fine line between awareness and being consumed by the news and media. We can’t live with our heads stuck in the sand; however, running your business from a fear mindset is a self fulfilling prophecy that shapes your behavior and your world view. In the words of Qui-Gon Jin – ‘Your focus becomes your reality’.
With so many factors at play, no economic downturn is exactly the same, so to some degree you always find yourself in uncharted territory. There are, however, some consistent themes when considering business and consumer behaviors that can help guide your budgeting decisions with regards to marketing and advertising.
Wholesale cost cutting to advertising & marketing is a mistake.
When businesses are faced with the need to cut budgets, marketing and advertising are usually the first on the chopping block, and they shouldn’t be. You may be thinking, that’s easy for an advertising and marketing agency to say, but consider this: the same decisions you are making as a business owner, your customers are making on a personal level. Where can they reduce their spending? How can they prioritize and cut costs and investments? Ultimately, where should they be spending their money? Ironically, this elevates the importance of your marketing efforts at this time.
Clarify your message.
They say, when times are good you should advertise, and when times are bad you must advertise. This could be altered to – When times are good you should understand your customer, when times are bad you must understand your customer. This means taking the time to research your target demographics and clarify your message. Positioning your product or service as the answer your customer has been looking for.
Consider consolidation vs. reduction.
Of course this does not eliminate a business’s need to contain costs. Recessions, or downturns, force us to trim the fat, optimize, rethink and “kill sacred cows”. They result in innovations that would not otherwise have been realized. In the interest of containing costs, do so strategically. Shift your focus from “where can we cut costs?” to “how can we be more effective?”. Look for opportunities to consolidate vs. reduce. Simply cutting your marketing budget is a form of retreating while consolidation allows you to strengthen your position while reducing redundancies. This approach increases the value of outsourcing marketing to a single Agency partner versus managing in-house teams or multiple firms.
While your competitors are cost cutting marketing initiatives disproportionately, an opportunity presents itself to position your brand as indispensable in your customers eyes. More than ever, your focus should be sharpened to understand your customer and their priorities. Commit to maintaining a strong brand message that is recognized, trustworthy and in line with your customers shifting demands and you’ll have a winning marketing mindset in a downturn economy.
If you’re interested in how Flipp can help clarify your message and optimize your marketing efforts to position your brand for success – we’re always up for a conversation. Flipp us an email.