Whilst the storm clouds of an economic downturn are covering most in the business world with gloom, for some marketers it could be a storm with a bright silver lining. With no amount of hastily assembled ROI stats likely to save many marketing budgets from the finance manager’s guillotine, there might not be any glossy print runs for a while but for digital media it could mean getting the time under the spotlight it has craved for years.
Whilst pulling down your sails by cutting your marketing budget will save cash in the short term, the mid-long term damage can be much more costly in terms of lost market share, which will be even harder to pull back once your ship sails into less choppy water.
The sensible, brave tactic should be to market more and take advantage of your competition’s stagnation. Whilst everybody else battens down their hatches to ride out the storm, you can present yourself as the dynamic, proactive business sailing swiftly through troubled waters, and consequently picking up customers along the way.
New marketing evangelist Joseph Jaffe recently discussed advertising during a recession in his popular podcast ‘Across the Sound’ in which he advised that slashing budgets and risk avoidance was the worst thing to do. Instead marketers should be even more innovative as clinging on to the status quo is not what will attract customers looking for a business still actively building relationships and talking to their marketplace, whilst others drift aimlessly.
In fact, when times are slow marketing’s importance grows, rather than diminishes, in retaining customers and attracting new leads in order to take a healthy portion of a diminishing pie. It’s up to marketers to show that their activity is not an expense but a revenue generator.
And the beauty of many new marketing tactics is that they’re relatively cheap.
With more business research conducted online than ever, a website should be more than just an online brochure. With new social media tools, such as blogs and podcasts, along with the relatively low cost of producing a helpful eBook or monthly newsletter, it has never been easier to become a custom publisher and a trusted brand by pushing out useful, helpful content to your prospects.
So whilst a mailing campaign of your new glossy print brochure might be on hold for a while, the easy to use tools and relative low cost of conversational marketing means it could start receiving the focus it deserves.
Just remember that conversational marketing is a commitment, and not just a campaign.