Times are tough, and many businesses are feeling the pinch. It can be tempting to cut back on marketing budgets to save money. However, this is a mistake that many small business owners who don’t have the marketing expertise or a history of leaner times in the past to think back on won’t know until it’s too late.
In this blog post, we’re looking at five reasons why you should never cut your marketing budget completely, even if you have to cut it a little!
Marketing is a long-term investment in your business.
Many people view marketing as an expense, something that doesn’t bring in any revenue or that area of the business with a budget that you can trim a little when there’s a change in circumstances elsewhere. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Marketing is a long-term investment in your business and perhaps if you approach it as you would with overheads such as salaries or rent instead of an optional extra that’s nice to have rather than essential you might view it differently.
Marketing helps you attract new customers, build relationships with existing customers, and increase brand awareness. While you might feel that it’s taking a long time to get those customers over the line, many of the customers you’re working with now started their journey with your brand months or even years ago thanks to your marketing efforts.
People do business with those they know like and trust.
If you want people to do business with you, they need to know who you are. They also need to like and trust you. Marketing helps you build relationships with your target audience so that they may eventually do business with you. If you go quiet when the marketplace shifts, can they trust that you’ll be back? Will they be happy that you won’t disappear after they purchase, perhaps taking any form of after-sales with you?
Building a brand and growing an audience takes a lot of hard work, make sure people see that you’re not just here for good times.
Your customers might think you have gone out of business, or abandoned them!
If you suddenly stop marketing to your customers, they might think you don’t care about them anymore. They may even take their business elsewhere. You may just need to adjust how you connect with them if you’ve had to reduce your budget. That’s where creative thinking can make a huge difference because you’ve got to make a budget go further while keeping the attention of your audience.
If you’re short on resources you might reduce the frequency of an email newsletter or post a little less frequently on social media if you feel that’s a saving on your time. Don’t however just cut back everywhere to save money, instead review your strategy. And, if you don’t have a marketing strategy, now’s a good time to get one in place!
What if your competitors don’t cut spending?
If your competitors are still marketing heavily, they will quite likely steal market share from you. Some with the available resources might even spend more in a bid to take a larger share of the market knowing others are at a disadvantage and they’ll gain long term.
You may not have the same budget available for the likes of digital campaigns and where you rely on traffic to your website for business, this will have an impact. However, it would be important not to completely switch off channels such as Facebook or Google Ads, decrease the spending gradually and watch the overall picture. If you’re clever with your creative approach you might be surprised that a slight decrease doesn’t impact as much as you’d anticipated.
Consistency is essential when it comes to marketing your business effectively.
Marketing is all about consistency. If you stop marketing when times are tough, you’ll have to start from scratch when the market changes. It’s much easier to keep your audience engaged if you never stop marketing to them.
An area business owners don’t always appreciate when it comes to consistency is search engines such as Google or social media platforms, their algorithms work best for your business when you’re consistent too.
In conclusion, don’t cut your marketing spend when times are tough. Marketing is a long-term investment in your business, and it’s essential for staying competitive. Keep these reasons in mind the next time you’re tempted to slash your marketing budget!
And, if you’d like some marketing tips that will cost little or in some cases just your time to implement, you might enjoy a copy of our ebook; ’10 Ways To Market Your Business Without Breaking The Bank’ – get a copy here.
Debbie Ringwood is a Marketing Specialist with over 20 years of experience in B2B and B2C Marketing. She is a Graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Digital Marketing Institute. She is a Linkedin Certified Marketing Insider, META Certified Community Manager, and Canva Champion.
Debbie supports, coaches, and trains businesses in Marketing, Social Media, Canva & WordPress along with her team, working with businesses at different stages of their journey.