In a bad economy, most business owners and CEO’s go into an auto pilot survival mode, cutting every expense not believed to impact the bottom line. Most of the time, the first expense on the chopping block is the marketing and PR budget. Across the street, however, the savvy business owner is counting on the competition’s knee-jerk response to axe marketing/PR programs. Savvy Inc. is actually using this momentum created by the competition to strengthen their brand, distinguish themselves from the competition, and actually increase market share.
When marketing and PR is not perceived as an integral component of the business plan
or strategy and considered an extra, the reduced presence in the hearts and minds of customers creates the perception that the brand is weakening, and provides an excellent
opportunity for competition. Here are the top four myths on marketing in a bad economy
your competition is counting on you to believe:
1. I know Marketing is important, but right now we need to put Marketing and PR on hold.
The real story: Once you are down in the brand cycle, it is hard to get up. Few brands or organizations can succeed without communicating to customers and potential customers. The time you are “on hold” may be at a key point in a potential customer’s decision-making cycle. By not staying top-of-mind with current clients and potential new clients you risk your brand simply being among the glut of competition – the perfect opportunity for your competition to eat your lunch.
2. Every body is waiting for things to “get better”.
The real story: Companies who are brave enough to ramp up their PR efforts will weather storm by taking market share from those who avoid the limelight from those who are not aggressive in the down turn. Leading business publications and thought leaders also point out that the company who expands marketing activities can usually dominate their industry sector if the downturn lasts for a prolonged period of time.
3. By cutting out Marketing, we can spend the money on other things and get back to Marketing when things improve.
The real story: When the economy is in trouble, people worry and don’t want to spend. Give customers and potential clients the assurance you are strong and viable and are here for the duration to be of service. That message can only be conveyed by marketing and PR efforts – visibility makes customers feel comfortable about doing business with you.
4. Our competitors aren’t spending money on marketing, PR or advertising either.
The real story: That “wait and see what the competition is doing” plan of action will kill your business! Your business/organization has something to offer that your competition does not have! Why would you let them lead your efforts to grow and succeed? Savvy Inc. knows that when cautious competitors pull back in fear, this is the time marketshare can be grabbed – marketing while competition is wringing their hands will result in increased presence, exposure to new groups, and garner new customers during tough times.
In a recession or economic downturn, it is essential that we not make important decisions that impact the health and well being of our company with a reactionary mindset. Now is the time to step-up in every way – in the service we provide customers, quality of the goods we make, and to also step-up our mental tenacity by not giving into panic and to stay committed to being the best at what we do and be proactive in communicating why we are best to our customers.