As the saying goes, one of the first things that gets cut in difficult trading times is expenditure on marketing-either in terms of personnel or marketing activity.
Marketing is easy to cut back on both in reality and intellectually, as many businesses owners do not know how effective their current marketing is and the expenditure on marketing is perhaps seen as a luxury to be spent when times are good.
Research undertaken during and after previous recessions though has shown that companies that cut back on expenditure on marketing, do worse during and after difficult times than those which don’t cut back. There could be an argument put forward that these were better run companies anyhow, but the main principle remains. If we accept that we should continue with our marketing activity, then we need to be sure that we are fit and ready for the good times and the bad times.
My experience is that many business owners have learned the previous lessons of marketing in difficult times and have not cut back on marketing-even increased investment this time around.
What we are talking about here though are basic principles which should be undertaken when times are good or bad.
Firstly undertake a detailed review of your marketing activity and expenditure. Can you determine how effective your marketing campaigns and expenditure have been and relate this to turnover/profits?
Do you have the systems in place to evaluate if your marketing is working? If not set them up to monitor and manage you marketing expenditure effectively. Eg Direct mailing, telemarketing, pay per click, website marketing campaigns should all be capable of excellent analysis and evaluation.
If you find that your marketing or part of your marketing activity is not producing results, try and find out why and stop it if necessary and spend the money of other activities that are more effective.
Whatever the conditions, you marketing expenditure must work for you and be seen to work for you as well.