Often in an economic downturn, one of the first places where businesses look for expenses they can cut is in marketing. It is not bad to cut advertising campaigns that don’t work; but the problem comes when you do not know what is or is not working for you. That alone can mean the difference between your business thriving or barely surviving in economic downturns.
Some people use “marketing” and “advertising” interchangeably, but really, they are two different concepts.
Marketing is your overall plan of identifying your ideal customer’s needs and determining how to meet them. It can include a plan for public relations, events, social media, direct mail, email and other advertising.
Advertising is each individual component of marketing, typically paid elements of marketing. Advertising is how you promote your company and its products or services through paid channels. It is the different avenues of getting the same message to your market.
Typically, we as business owners and managers set a certain percentage of our budgets to marketing, and then we plan our advertising pieces. Unless we know how each piece of advertising is performing, we do not know what to adjust or how to manage it, what to cut or increase.
When businesses cut back because of a recession, that means there will be a greater need for marketing on the other side of the recession. A business that continues to market through a recession will be kept in the minds of buyers when they start looking again for services.
If you can maintain your marketing while others are reducing their marketing, you will be poised to gain tremendous market share coming out of the recession because of your continued exposure in the marketplace.
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Continuous marketing through a recession will also bring good talent to your door. There is that old adage that “one man’s pain is another man’s gain.” As other business owners reduce their marketing, their level of business naturally recedes, and great talent will want to move on to companies that are thriving or are set up to thrive on the other side of the recession.
When you have a way to manage your marketing, you can make it work for you. That marketing budget management will affect your profits negatively or positively depending on how you manage your advertising.
These are different times that we are living in, and we cannot afford to cut our marketing. However, there are ways to figure out which advertising campaigns are working. Recently, I had a conversation with Remodelers Advantage “PowerTips Unscripted” co-hosts President Victoria Downing and Vice President Mark Harari about getting the most for your marketing dollars. To listen, visit powertipspodcast.com