As the Brexit deadline looms closer, UK businesses are heading towards a period of uncertainty, during which many businesses may consider reducing their marketing spend. As an alternative approach, we have compiled some methodology around how your business can maximise the effectiveness of your company’s marketing budget.
Firstly, brands may be persuaded to shift their focus from a long term marketing strategy to short term sales. This is because a company can control the amount of money that they spend but not the amount of money that they make, so cutting costs of initiatives that do not directly create short term revenue is the obvious choice.
However, evidence from past recessions demonstrate how marketeers who resist thinking in the short term, but instead use their resources effectively, actually emerge in better shape. This is perhaps because, whilst other brands are slashing costs, maintaining a marketing budget (and hence share of voice) is highly beneficial.
As well as losing share of voice, cutting marketing costs can generate hidden pitfalls. For example, after cutting marketing spend your revenue may not decrease significantly, however, the revenue you are generating may be the result of previous year’s marketing campaigns. This means you may not see the immediate impact to cutting your marketing costs, but perhaps will in the future.
Using your budget and time effectively
During times of economic uncertainty, it is not advisable to ‘go dark’ and cut brand communications for a period of six months or more, as customers can perceive brands that do as in decline or failing. So rather than falling silent, you should focus on producing content that has a specific purpose. Create blog posts that will increase your website’s SEO and avoid just publishing content for the sake of it. Create copy that has an impact, advertising that is truly memorable, and campaigns that are genuinely creative.
It is also worth considering going back to basics. Decide on the best tactics and digital channels to use going forward and focus on these. Creating case studies or sharing customer testimonials would be a great place to start. Psychologically, if a service or product is adopted by some, others are more likely to follow suit. This is what is known as the bandwagon effect, which is best demonstrated by the rise of influencer marketing. Creating case studies or collecting customer testimonials also allows you to back up your business credentials.
If you are facing a period of reduced revenue which is impacting on your marketing budget, you could seek out free publicity. Offer your expertise on radio or TV interviews or get involved in charity events, but try not to over ‘sell’ your business!
It is also important to remember that during this time, your customers will likely be affected by the same economic uncertainty that you are facing. Therefore you could take advantage of what is known as the ‘certainty effect’. This states that customers tend to opt for more risk-free paths, so customers will find risk-free trials and product samples particularly appealing during this time.
Refocus your message
Rather than marketing your product or service as a ‘want’, tell customers why they ‘need’ what you have to offer. During times of economic uncertainty, your customers are less likely to purchase something that they do not need.
Also, take a look at redefining your target market. Focus on the profiles of individuals or companies that are most likely to do business with you instead of marketing to the masses. This should give you a better ROI with regards to your marketing spend.
Finally, and most importantly, be flexible during this time and develop plans for multiple scenarios in order to mitigate risk.
Get in touch with us, at Three Sixty Media Group, to see if we can help you make the most of your marketing budget.