Before You Slash Your Marketing Budget, Read This

Sarah Malcolm
The unknown is what makes recessions scary. We don’t know how long they will last or the depth of their impact. We do know our survival depends on taking substantial measures to protect our brands. Everyone in CRE is facing reduced income streams and are putting their budgets on the chopping block. Marketing makes an easy target but think twice before slicing this line item.

The unknown is what makes recessions scary. We don’t know how long they will last or the depth of their impact. We do know our survival depends on taking substantial measures to protect our brands. Everyone in CRE is facing reduced income streams and are putting their budgets on the chopping block. Marketing makes an easy target but think twice before slicing this line item.

Research on businesses that survived previous recessions shows a common theme. The brands that: a) managed the crisis, and b)thrived once the economic ball started rolling again, didn’t hold back marketing dollars. They invested in their marketing.  

A Harvard Business Review article from 2009–the flip side of our last recession–looked at patterns in business and consumer behavior during down times. Their findings?

“Companies that put customer needs under the microscope, take a scalpel rather than a cleaver to the marketing budget, and nimbly adjust strategies, tactics, and product offerings in response to shifting demand are more likely than others to flourish both during and after a recession.”

Look: it’s easy to cut marketing dollars. It’s more responsive than reducing production, selling an asset, or divesting of properties. Often, businesses want to preserve their employees and will cut in every other way first before implementing layoffs.

When available dollars shrink, people spend less. When they do choose to spend, they’re picking brands they know and trust.That’s why big businesses tend to weather economic hurdles better than smaller businesses. They have invested in building a loyal following as a measure of reducing their business risk. So people choose them over a label they don’t recognize.

You need those marketing dollars to get your name out there and to build your loyal following. That is why cutting marketing spending should be the last thing you do in a recession.

And you know what else? During recessions,most businesses do cut back. Those that can maintain or increase their marketing allocation benefit from a less crowded marketplace! More brand exposure is a win.

Moving forward, your marketing is going to be more important than you may realize. It’s time to creatively think of ATYPICAL strategies and solutions to the challenges we face while bouncing back from the pandemic crisis. Let us help you leverage your marketing budget for maximum brand exposure.

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