Now is the worst time to kill your marketing
It’s an unsettling time.
We collectively face the type of global health pandemic not seen in a generation.
Unlike earlier flu pandemics, Covid-19 seems to be spreading more rapidly, due to the prevalence of international travel and more densely populated cities.
The economic impact of the coronavirus is likely to be significant.
Earlier this week, the recently appointed Chancellor Rishi Sunak made it clear that we should brace for a temporary yet severe economic shock. He put forward a £30bn package of measures designed to alleviate this pain.
Chatting to several business owners this week, there’s a great deal of concern out there. It seems likely there is a recession just around the corner.
Recessions can destroy businesses. During the last recession, nearly 29,000 British businesses were forced to close.
We know that, when cash flow is under pressure, often the first item of expenditure to face the axe is marketing. As tempting as this is, it’s a bad idea, likely to only defend profits in the short-term.
Businesses with an eye on the future know to maintain their marketing spend during an economic downturn. The most ambitious business owners know to double-down at times like this, as fortunes can be made in recessions.
Zig when others zag.
Maintaining or increasing your marketing expenditure can work wonders when your competitors are slashing their spend.
You need to make every penny count, maximising the return on investment from your marketing dollars.
But instead of pulling up the drawbridge, consider how you will take advantage of lower competition for your ideal clients.
One adjustment you may need to make is to understand emerging customer segments, before developing new propositions to better suit their needs.
Many customers will cut all but essential expenditure during a recession. Those that slam the brakes on when times get tough can include anxious higher earners; don’t assume it’s only low earners who will fall into this category.
Other consumers could feel more optimistic as the recession bites. They will still tighten their belts and could cut right back in time, depending on the duration and severity of the recession. This group tends to be in the majority.
Those who feel well-positioned to weather the storm might become more selective in their buying decisions. Keep in mind that a recession doesn’t affect everyone to the same extent; your wealthy retirees with a fixed income from gold-plated final salary pension schemes are unlikely to be losing sleep over job losses or falling markets.
What seems to differ as this recession looms large is an element of uncertainty.
We don’t know how severe the coronavirus pandemic will be, or what impact it will have on our day-to-day lives or our health.
The way in which we communicate with prospective clients will need to change.
We still need to build trust and establish credibility with our target audience. In the absence of face-to-face interaction, I’ve no doubt this could be harder to achieve.
Content marketing will come of age during the pandemic.
When you create and share valuable content designed to answer the concerns of your ideal client, you are seen as an authority.
Podcasting and videos are two powerful tools as you market your services during the coronavirus-led recession. Listeners and viewers get to know, like and trust their preferred podcast and video hosts, making this form of content marketing an incredibly powerful medium.
If you’re fearful of what the next few months have in store for your business, then you’re not alone.
What you would be well advised to do is to become prolific in your marketing output. As your competition pulls back, push forwards.
Become the only game in town by virtue of the quality and quantity of your content marketing output.