According to the US Chamber of Commerce, 43% of business owners believe they have less than 6 months until they have to shut down permanently and approximately 1 in 4 businesses have temporarily shut down due to this crisis we are experiencing. With all this turbulence we’re facing, as business owners and marketers we need to keep focused on riding out this storm. While we are getting our footing trying to figure out how to handle these rough seas, one expense that often gets cut out is the marketing budget. I totally understand, but without marketing, your business might not survive. I know – you have other expenses you need to pay in order to keep your head above water but, when you’re making these decisions about what to cut back on and what to spend money on, consider the following reasons why you should continue marketing:
1. Your market changes constantly. For whatever reason, some of your customers will disappear. If you sell B2C, some of your customers will move out of the area and new folks will move in. If you sell B2B, some of those businesses will close but new businesses will open. The people or businesses who are no longer available will not be a viable market for you any longer and the new residents and businesses will have no idea who to buy from. If you stop your marketing, you may not be able to replace those folks who moved away, retired or closed and you will miss out on the new opportunities.
2. Sometimes your customers and prospects have short memories. I can’t tell you how many times I received a call from someone who thinks they bought from me previously but actually didn’t. The prospect forgot who they bought from so the marketing money spent by the previous supplier to attract their now former customer has been squandered. That’s no great shock, though. As business people, we are overwhelmed by all the “work” at work. Then, when you add in all the marketing messages we are pounded by every day, it’s no wonder why folks get confused and space out on who sold them what. Keep in touch with your customers and they’ll think of you the next time they need to buy something.
3. Your competitors are still marketing. If you pare down your marketing, your customers may think you shut down for good. If they no longer to hear from you, they will move on and buy from someone else. Your competitors who have maintained their marketing will scoop up the customers you lost. Staying in touch with your customers is critical now more than ever.
4. Some of your competitors will quit marketing. I know what your thinking – didn’t I just tell you that your competitors are still marketing? Yes, some are maintaining their marketing, however, some are not. Those customers will be up for grabs. Your marketing, and their lack of marketing, is to your advantage. As your competitors reduce their presence, your marketing can cut through the rugby scrum of marketing messages and attract more attention.
5. Your marketing will continue to build your brand. When you decrease your marketing, all the time, effort and money you put into it will have less value and the branding momentum you created will eventually come to a stop. The confidence and trust you worked so hard to build with your target market and customer base will weaken. Marketing will continue building your brand so when the economy rebounds, you will not have to invest as much time and money and effort to rebuilding or maintaining your brand as those who cut their marketing budget.
6. Some of your competitors will shut their doors which leaves more of the market available to you. Did you see the movie “Forrest Gump”? During the hurricane, his boat, the “Jenny”, was out at sea and survived while the other shrimp boats were destroyed. This left Forrest and Lieutenant Dan the entire market after the storm had passed. The current storm we are experiencing will eventually end and, if you maintain your marketing efforts, your business stands a better chance of surviving and then thriving when things get back to normal because there may be fewer competitors.