It is inevitable. Business goes in cycles, one minute you are rushed off your feet with not enough hours in a day, then it seems to come to a grinding halt. We have seen many businesses get their marketing backwards when things go quiet. Ideally, your ability to spend your marketing budget at the correct time can have a significant bearing on the stability of incoming business.
On so many occasions we see businesses spending their marketing budget when they don't need to. By this, we mean spending perhaps excessive amounts on marketing while times are good - when in fact business owners should be looking at putting some $$ aside for when times are more difficult. When tougher times strike, you ideally want to be able to "up the ante" with your marketing game.
In our experience over 60% of businesses will pull back their marketing spend during tough times. What we find here though is that the ones that actually increase their marketing spend on those rainy days, remain at the forefront of peoples mind when it comes time to making a purchase.
If you own a business that is going through a difficult or slow time, here are 5 things you can do to maintain your awareness to clients and potential customers, all the while being mindful of where to spend your marketing dollars:
- Get out and visit your clients!! Don't hide under a rock! We are a digital marketing business, but there is nothing, absolutely nothing as good as meeting face to face with clients. Talk with them, ask how they are doing, ask if they are happy with what you are providing, is there anything else that you can do for them. It is all about building those trust based relationships.
- If you are using television / radio advertising make an appointment with your account manager. Explain to them your circumstances, most of them will be understanding. Look at reducing your spend, but also try to negotiate an effective bonus spot structure that is still going to work for you.
- Ask if you can be put on a filler list. This is related to television / radio advertising. A filler list gives you additional placements for your commercial at no additional cost. Sometimes large companies will change their strategy and move their advertising placements depending on what their competitor is doing. This provides free space that needs to be filled. If you can get on a filler list, this will provide your company with possibly free additional exposure.
- Increase your digital marketing budget. Digital marketing is very cost effective compared to traditional marketing methods...and we are not just saying this because we are a digital marketing business!! We have genuinely seen great results for our clients when they do this.
- If you are not doing email newsletters - start doing them. Make them visually appealing and ensure the content is interesting to the person reading it. Give people free information, tips anything that will help them. It also serves as a great branding exercise. People are exposed to your brand and services.
This is just the start of different things you can do when business slows down. It is also important to have the right mindset. Remaining positive is so important. Remind yourself why you started your business and bring back that fire in the belly! Put in the hard work, stay positive and the tough times will pass.