Marketing In Challenging Times

Why business needs to steady marketing spend rather than shrink it in economically challenging times

It’s unclear how long the energy costs are going to rise for and by how much, and the toll inflation will take on households and industry. Testing times indeed. With uncertainty comes discomfort, something we are going suffer a little from this winter.

We experience global events of uncertainty as employees within a business, and as individuals at home, meanwhile business leaders have the double task of responding to current circumstances while planning and carving the path for the future while on shifting sands.

Marketing however is one of your most dynamic and helpful tools, and applying integrated approaches can also help business weather times of change and uncertainty.

In the world of B2B, buyers of products and services often delay purchases, refocus their budget to shore up cash flow and / or reduce their spending even on essentials. With the unprecedented rise in energy costs this has never been truer and people are experiencing this right across the spectrum, from nurses on strict pay bands to the factory with hikes in production costs simply from the increase in energy bills. There isn’t a section of society that won’t be impacted by the economic shifts in energy prices and inflation. Economics really has got personal.

Marketing isn’t just for Christmas

So how can marketing help and what is the case for anchoring in the marketing budget?  Marketing ensures that your company maintains its vision and values. Communicating your worth and reminding customers why they are in a relationship with your business are key.

Re-engaging with customers who may need your help and support is another benefit, while existing clients may turn to your business for new solutions.

Communicating to customers how they can contact you and giving examples of problem-solving is a brilliant way to bring in new business. Great marketing is often solutions focused so why not adjust marketing plans to current realities and show clients the opportunity to find more ease through uncertain times?

One of the things we saw done well during the pandemic was communication. There were mixed opinions throughout, but what we did see were extraordinary attempts to keep people informed.

We were faced with new ways of communicating within the business, suddenly we were talking to our customers not only via email but through Zoom calls. All of this required a communications strategy, it required planning, structure, resource and in many cases a revisit to the values and core WHY ARE WE IN BUSINESS IN THE FIRST PLACE?  The bedrock of any marketing strategy.

This shift to video conferencing was in fact just what business needed, and although face to face meetings are incredibly productive, the speed of action was forced to step up a pace as there was no reason not to meet with clients, albeit electronically. Travel costs and time were no longer a factor in meeting a client or new prospect and the world became a smaller place where the ubiquitous handshake became virtual.

Business relationships could no longer shy away from this virtual world, and far from losing out on bookings or orders, companies actually flourished during the lockdowns. There never really is a ‘business as usual’, situations change, circumstances and global events all have an impact. The key is to be adaptive to change and to never stand still.

group communication

Consistent and refocused communication helped retain THE RIGHT CUSTOMERS and even gain new ones.

Passing along increased costs or news that’s less than what you hoped for as a business can be a daunting task, so this is where steadying rather than shrinking spend on Integrated marketing help maintain your pathway. Marketing done well enables businesses to accompany customers and stakeholders, even shareholders on that journey, while reinforcing relationships through times of change.

It may even be a prime opportunity for a reset and a review of service delivery which in turn future proof’s your customer relationships.

Marketing is a truly dynamic tool come rain or shine. It’s how you work it, apply it and communicate it that speaks volumes.