“Recession” is a scary word.
I started my first marketing company back in 2011 when hordes of businesspeople were running in the streets shouting that the sky was falling. But where most people saw doom and gloom, I saw an opportunity to help organizations make better marketing decisions and reach their goals regardless of the economic climate. I won’t say that we “recession-proofed” our clients, but we worked hard to help insulate them from the ups and downs, to even out those peaks and valleys that we all hate to see in our profit reports.
I’ve seen a lot of change in the last seven years, but one thing remains constant: smart organizations always invest a little if it helps them make a lot. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to help you get the most bang out of your marketing buck during an economic downturn.
5 Ways to Spend Smart and Survive a Downturn When Marketing in a Recession
- Focus on what really matters. What is the key measurement you need to succeed? This is different for every organization, but the answer I hear 9 times out of 10 is “more sales.” So what does it take to get more sales? Is it more new customers? Is it more repeat business from customers you already have? It is customers with a higher level of disposable income (i.e. “better customers”)? Go down the rabbit hole and figure out what is actually going to move that needle for you. Find that Key Success Indicator, and focus on improving that.
- Take stock of what you are currently doing. What are you spending, and more importantly, what are you spending it on? Is that late-night infomercial you’re running on channel 324 making any impact on your Key Success Indicator? Can you see a correlation between your KSI and money being spent? If not…
- Cut the fluff. Are you investing or just spending? There’s a difference, you know. What kind of engagement are you getting on that radio promotion, that cable TV campaign or “that stuff my kid is doing on the Facebooks and the Tweets”? Can you track how many new customers are coming in, how many sales are resulting in the advertising you’re doing? How is your current plan influencing your Key Success Indicator? If it’s not influencing, consider cutting what doesn’t work, and invest in something that will.
- Make a Budget. If you aren’t budgeting for marketing, odds are you’re spending way more than you think you are. Sit down and create a marketing/advertising budget. This should include any traditional media (TV, radio, print, outdoor, direct-mail, etc.) as well as digital (anything online, including website maintenance, social media marketing, SEO, lead nurturing, email campaigns and website banner ads), sponsorships (your kid’s soccer or baseball teams, community sports leagues, etc.) and any other means of getting your organization’s name or mission in front of eyeballs. This way you know what you have to spend. You can track your spending throughout the year, and you can prioritize what is really important. If your budget and your actual spending don’t see eye to eye, repeat steps 1-3 until they do.
- Find a partner you can trust. No organization is an island. You simply can’t do it all yourself and expect to crush it every time. This is where a professional marketer can come in and streamline your marketing budget and drive KSI. Now, this may sound a little counter-intuitive to what I’ve been telling you—“If I’m paying an agency to do stuff I was doing myself for free, how will that save me money?” Well, you aren’t doing it for free. Every minute you spend trying to figure out how to run a Google AdWords campaign or trying to map out a concept for a facebook video, that’s a minute you aren’t making sales. But by investing a portion of your marketing budget in an experienced, qualified marketing professional, you can delegate strategy and creative services while you focus on running your business. A good marketing agency is a partner who’s invested in your success, who really cares whether you’re hitting your numbers and who works to add value to your relationship every day. If that sounds too good to be true, just give us a call at 304-685-9611, and let us show you what it’s like to have someone in your corner.
Follow these 5 tips, and you’ll have a much better chance of surviving the recession without pulling your hair out.
Eleven Eleven Media
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