Digital Marketing

7 myths about marketing in economic recessions

In an ideal world, the marketing activity would be self-sufficient, would always pay several times what it costs to run, and would be effective in reaching every potential buyer in the right industry every time. But in the world where the sky is blue, marketing activities are driven by a number of factors, including perceptions of the company and the head of marketing there, economic forces that drive consumer behavior of all sorts, and factors beyond their control. control.

As a result of these factors, marketing budgets are at the mercy of the company’s reactions to these perceptions. Many of these perceptions are flawed, biased, clouded by history, the personal experiences of top management, and most have no historical precedent or foundation.

Myth #1: “Our brand is strong enough to not need support during the recession.”

Fact: Few brands are strong enough to survive without advertising, product promotion, and customer service support. Marks are like delicate houseplants: they need attention, support, reinforcement, and polishing (the commercial equivalent of nutrients, light, and water), or they will wither and wither to a shadow of their former self. This is not a position you want your corporate brand to be in when the economy’s growth engine picks up speed again.

Myth #2: “If we cut marketing expenses, we can use the money for other things internally and increase the budget when things get better.”

Reality: Studies have shown that once the budget is cut, it takes a Herculean effort and a strong internal leader to push it back to its previous levels, and even if it increases, there are much stronger ROI conditions associated with its implementation. . Once those funds are allocated elsewhere, they tend to stay there; after all, that other department doesn’t want to give them up either.

Myth #3 – “Nobody buys anything, advertising and promotions are a waste of money.”

Fact: Many studies by prestigious business publications and university think tanks have reached the same conclusion based on data they collected on US and, in some cases, global companies: those that reduce their presence in their key service markets they are in a much worse position. in terms of profitability, market share and competitive market presence when the slowdown abates and profitability growth returns than those who maintain their levels of marketing activity. Those companies that are bold enough to increase marketing activity have a great opportunity to wrest market share from their less aggressive competitors and may dominate the category if the downturn lasts long enough.

Myth #4 – “We can reduce [on marketing] now, and then ramp up quickly when things get better.

Reality: This strategy has proven disastrous time and time again, especially for companies that have inherent inefficiencies in their product design or delivery channel. This inefficiency will not allow them to “accelerate quickly”, since due to that same inefficiency they will always arrive “behind” when timing the market; they are not market leaders but laggards and therefore acceleration activity starts late. in relation to the buying cycle, and their more agile competitors have already beaten them to it.

Myth #5: “We should examine what works for us and eliminate everything else.”

Fact: This isn’t really a myth, but rather a knee-jerk reaction to a short-term drop in gross sales. Good marketing departments should be doing exactly that in perpetuity, not just when times are toughest. Why would a marketer deserve his salary if he continued with programs that didn’t work, reducing performance across the board and wasting money?

Additionally, there should be metrics built into any campaign so that there is a way to “take the pulse” of its success, and mid-course correction is possible to drive effectiveness and increase ROI on an ongoing basis. Additionally, in some channels, there is a cumulative effect that blurs perceptions of what works and what doesn’t: there are interdependencies between channels that are unplanned and unscheduled but live in the customer’s mind, unwittingly triggering sales. Trimming what cannot be accurately measured hinders this effect, dragging results down for no apparent reason.

Myth #6: “Marketing spends more money than any other department, it has more room to cut budget.”

Fact: While spending can be a measure of power in some corporate structures, at least informally, return is really what counts when revising the budget. Marketing is one of the few departments that can actually point out the contributions they make directly to the bottom line. There is a proven cause-and-effect relationship between gross sales and marketing expenses for larger and enterprise-size companies. Increased IT spending can pay off in the long run, but better servers often don’t move more product, unless the product is server space. Cutting the marketing budget only reduces the opportunities available to increase market share, increase product awareness and recall in the mind of the consumer, and reduce profitability in the long run.

Myth #7: “All of our competitors are cutting advertising and media spend to save money, so we should too.”

Fact: This kind of lemming-sheep thinking can destroy your business! Your mom knew better than this when you used the excuse “All the other kids are going, why can’t I?” and her response was probably something like “If the other kids jump off the bridge, are you going to jump too?” Despite being competitors, their finances likely look a bit different than yours, and it’s foolish to think you can mimic their moves and succeed. At best, you will be the same! The smart money here is being used to take market share away from its more timid competitors, increasing presence and exposure, and cutting other less-than-mission-critical expenses for a short period to achieve it.


Myth #8: “We should downgrade the quality of our marketing materials, use a cheaper creative agency, and send less frequent emails to save money.”

Fact: This move set will actually cost you in both the short and long term. You may save a very small incremental amount on cheaper paper, shorter and smaller brochures, cheaper brochures, smaller giveaways at trade shows, but the damage you are doing to your brand and the resulting poor image of the company in your set does so much more damage than can ever be repaired by spending those few bucks later to try and fix it.

Not to mention shaking your customers’ confidence by giving them a visual representation of your company’s underperformance! “Geez, they must be in trouble, this looks like cheap junk. Maybe I’d better take my business to another company who will probably be around to support their products in the future,” is the thinking he is promoting by reducing quality in his published materials. .

Good design often costs less than bad design, due to fewer creative iterations, fewer mistakes, greater effectiveness, and higher return. Jumping ship of the agency you’re in if they’re handing over spent dollars just to save a little money is foolish. The ramp-up time for a new agency to get to know your needs, your products, your style, and your brand will be over by the time the average recession ends, and it will have cost you longer to get the same level of productivity. at that moment, just in time to reposition itself for the new economic conditions.

When times get tough, the tough get going in the marketing department, providing the market with visual evidence of your corporate strength, your leadership role in the industry, your expertise in the marketplace, and the strength of support you offer to your products and services. Don’t believe the naysayers who want to cut your marketing budget, reduce your staff, and reduce the quality of your materials. Everything you do here reflects on the health of your company, and cutting here shows more and helps less.

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