The importance of marketing in the credit crunch…

I read an advert in a magazine recently. An ad stating why you should continue advertising during a recession… The key phrases used in the ad were;

  1. The golden rule is to stay in touch with your customers
  2. If you are inconsistent they won’t trust you
  3. If they can’t find you they will go to your competitor
  4. And if they forget who you are, you’ll have to start all over again

In principle I agree with what they are saying – but lets face it – it all sounds rather threatening… Realistically any advertising medium has as its first priority its own financial health. So many magazines are using this sort of approach at the moment.

If you are an advertiser you must put the interests of your own business first! Yes, it is absolutely crucial to maintain a presence – but all advertising should be judged on results – measure what responses you get, make a note of where they come from, and always assess how much each enquiry or sale is actually costing you.

Here my take on the above points;

  1. Yes – absolutely, but if it’s your customers you are talking to there are plenty of other ways instead of paper advertising – email, direct mail, face to face (depending on your business), and of course your website
  2. They trust you if you provide a consistent and quality service whether you are advertising or not
  3. If you’ve done points 1 and 2 correctly your CUSTOMERS will return to you whether they see you in a magazine or not – though they do have a point when it comes to new prospects not finding you so easily – of course there are still alternatives to reaching those people to – it’s largely a case of applying a little imagination
  4. If you’ve done point 1, 2 and 3 in the right way they haven’t forgotten!

Magazines, radio and the other old school advertising are not the be all and end all to marketing your business.

However, as I said ealier – marketing is critical in the bad times – absolutely critical, and with money tight you may have to cut your budget. If you are cutting back on your magazine, radio advertising find a way to replace it with something more cost effective – don’t just stop doing everything. If you do, they are right and your business will simply die.

Use the recession to assess what you are doing.

  • How cost-effective is your marketing?
  • Could you be getting better results for the same cost?
  • Are there alternative ways to reach your audience?
  • Could you generate more referrals?
  • What do you have in place that can be improved upon?

Now is not the time to panic – use it to learn – get smarter! And, take a long hard look at your business as a whole.