One of our favorite things to hear from companies is, “We don’t need marketing. We’re doing great.”
Marketing is definitely something you should utilize as part of a reactive strategy. There really is no point in being proactive (that sentence was heavy on the sarcasm). Keep this in mind:
- Marketing is not just about sales.
- The right marketing strategy is focused on brand awareness, employee retention and attraction, lead generation, client/customer retention, community engagement and positioning your company as an expert in your industry.
The New York Times reported in a recent article that the United States is on recession watch as market signals flash red. Manufacturing is straining under President Trump’s trade war, business investment is slowing and consumer confidence is showing cracks.
Marketing should be part of your ongoing business strategy. However, if you don’t see that as important, then let’s talk about the looming recession. Recessions destroy unprepared businesses, those same ones that think marketing is unnecessary. In the last recession, more than 400,000 small businesses went bankrupt or permanently closed. If you want to prevent your business from suffering the same fate, you need to invest in marketing, not cut budgets as soon as you feel the squeeze.
Here is our advice, which we strongly encourage you to follow:
Create a Plan
Businesses that survived the last recession acted early. Work with your marketing firm to develop a plan. Don’t have a firm? Call us. Digital marketing and public relations will be a game-changer for companies. The need for your services doesn’t go away in a recession, but the market does become highly competitive. If you have neglected your community, existing customers and the media due to your short-sighted approach to marketing, you have a long road ahead of you.
Most companies’ gut reactions are to cut marketing budgets and scale back versus seeing the growth opportunity. According to the Harvard Business Review, the small minority of companies that achieved double-digit annualized Total Shareholder Return in downturns pursued efficiencies, improving their profit margins. There are other ways to save money…and it isn’t by cutting the one thing that makes you visible (we’re talking about marketing).
Your existing customers/clients should be hearing from you on a regular basis, you know, as part of your ongoing marketing strat. If you have largely ignored them because you have convinced yourself they are happy and don’t need you to reach out, then guess who isn’t top of mind? Let us reiterate: marketing is SO much more than sales. It is client retention, employee relations, community engagement…the list goes on.
Understanding your target audience (customer) and their behaviors will help you predict their reactions to the upcoming recession. Companies need to concentrate marketing resources on maintaining relevance to core customers in order to sustain brands through the recession and into the recovery. Research past recessions (2009) and how your customers/clients reacted then. Put the time in to ensure your business survives.
Measure, Track and Analyze
Invest in marketing automation. We are SharpSpring certified, so call us. Utilizing Google Analytics and marketing automation software will show companies how much of a return each marketing investment or tactic is providing. This will be the key to survival and growth. Digital marketing is the best low-cost, high-return marketing strategy, due to measurability and targeting capabilities.
Your pride isn’t worth the fall. If you think your company doesn’t need marketing, well…it’s been nice knowing you. If you want some more kickass advice and a solid recession-proof marketing strategy, get a hold of us.