Marketers: Keep Moving Forward
Anytime a recession or market interruption occurs, one of the first things to go from a business budget is their marketing. It is important to keep moving forward. There is a good deal of research out there that would suggest that businesses should actually do the opposite during tough economic times and maintain or even increase their ad spend. (See the articles below.)
But the big question is, does all of that still apply in the midst of an unprecedented situation like this? Are there opportunities that should be pursued? The answer is yes, but it’s not all about spending. We’re in a spot where many businesses are facing little or no cash flow, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing that can be done.
But what? It’s easy to freeze up or overthink it when facing something that is seemingly insurmountable. But whether you know it or not, as marketers, we’re trained for this. Figuring out what to do isn’t that much different from what we do normally. It comes down to some of the basics like knowing your audience, solving problems, executing and measuring. You just may find that you have to stretch yourself in some new ways and do it more frequently.
I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. Quite frankly, it’s going to be incredibly challenging. But that doesn’t mean you stop moving.
Here are a few ideas to help get you jump started.
- Look at your data and really use it. If you haven’t been doing this already, now is the time to look at your data and really analyze it. Pair up your web data with your conversion data and other internal metrics. Find the trends. The holes in the conversion process. The spikes in interest. Factor in the dynamics of the market place and the mood of your audience as best you can. And then do what we do – develop and execute a marketing strategy based on a combination of the information and your expertise.
- Go where the people are. Sometimes we outthink ourselves. Right now, everyone is home and online. That’s where you should be. But do it right. Don’t rush to get there and not have well-thought out creative and messaging that works for where your customers are.
- Be consistent and make the user experience seamless. Make it easy for people to find and get what they need. People are jumping through enough hoops already as they try to figure things out day by day. If you can make their lives easier, not only are they more likely to buy from you, you have an opportunity to create a really favorable impression with them.
- Be creative. Don’t throw out the same old messages you always do and don’t mimic what everyone else is doing. We’re marketers. We are always looking to try new things, to stand out, to develop something that cuts through the clutter of so many messages and that really works. Now isn’t the time to be vanilla. Now’s the time to experiment with and test out some new ideas and tactics. Just make sure you are measuring your results along the way so you are always learning and improving.
- Reach out to others. It’s easy to get stuck when you are faced with so many unknowns. This situation is unique for all of us. Now is the perfect time to get an outside perspective. As much as we like to think so, we can’t always figure it all out on our own. Engaging with other smart marketing minds can lead to the ideas that help you bust through these roadblocks and solve the problems you are facing. And these relationships we build when times are tough are the partners we can all look to for years to come.
Remember, you are trained for this. If there is any professional that knows how to push through when times are hard, it’s a marketer. So keep moving forward.
- Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bradadgate/2019/09/05/when-a-recession-comes-dont-stop-advertising
- Marketing Week: https://www.marketingweek.com/brands-advertising-coronavirus-crisis
- Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2009/04/how-to-market-in-a-downturn-2
- Marketing Sherpa: https://content.marketingsherpa.com/heap/Reports/DownturnReport
Paul Leese, MBA is the Executive Vice President of Keenan-Nagle Advertising, Inc. located in Allentown, PA. He specializes in marketing strategy development and execution and has over twenty years of successful experience in marketing, management, team building, media services and strategy development for non-profits, large corporations and small businesses.