Although it’s tempting to save money by reducing your marketing budget during a financially difficult time, cutting your advertising budget can actually hurt your business in the long run. Here are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t reduce your ad budget during a recession.
Cutting your Advertising Budget Reduces Exposure to Your Brand
Think of your advertising like maintaining a friendship – it takes constant attention and nurturing. Say you’re used to seeing your friend a few times week. Suddenly, you begin to see them less and less. Unless you start making an effort again, soon enough you’ll drift apart. The same is true for a business-customer relationship.
If your ads run often and then suddenly come to a halt, your customers may begin to forget about you, or think you’re going through hard times and can’t sustain their business. You may begin to lose customers to competitors that stay on top of customers’ minds with their marketing efforts.
Lowering your Advertising Budget Gives Your Competition a Leg Up
When your ad budget is cut, your business is no longer reinforcing your branding and reminding customers that you’re an option when they’re ready to make a purchase.
What better opportunity for your competitors to step up and replace your ads with their own? When your brand isn’t top of mind, it gives other brands the perfect opportunity to take over and raise their own brand awareness.
You might be saving some money in the short-term by cutting your ad budget, but in the long run, you’ll lose business to competitors who step up and fill the space you used to. Make the recession an opportunity to renegotiate pricing with your chosen advertising channels. If you’re think of cutting your budget, then other companies are most likely doing the same thing, and this may be an opportunity to maximize your advertising at a cheaper rate.
Instead, keep your marketing budget as is. If you absolutely can’t afford to keep up the same level of advertising, don’t cut your budget entirely. Take advantage of more affordable marketing channels, such as social media, blogs and email marketing.
It’ll cost less, but still have a platform to promote your business and engage with customers. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest are all great ways to push brand awareness at a minimal cost. Check out Print Three’s breakdown of social media platforms to learn more about each one, and why your business needs them. These are efforts that can be sustained within your own business (rather than hiring an agency), so make them a priority.
You Lose Out on Building Customer Loyalty and Trust
When times are tough on your business, they’re probably tough for your customers too. When the 2008 recession hit, both businesses and individuals were equally affected. As a result, your customers may be on the look out for a deal. If your business gives customers a break when they need it most, they will remember that when they have a little extra spending money down the road.
Sure, you’ll be paying money up front to host a promotion or sale, but you’re also gaining loyal, long-term customers who will trust and appreciate your business. Remember, there’s nothing more valuable to a business than good customer service that fosters long-term customer loyalty! A recession is a great time to gain that trust and loyalty, while some of your competitors may be doing exactly what we’re telling you not to do!
If your marketing budget isn’t working for you in these tough economic times, contact Eden. We’ll help you devise a marketing strategy that effectively uses every dollar of your budget! Call us at 1-800-844-0106 for a free consultation.