What’s that old saying…fortune favours the brave? I have always understood the sentiment but have realised that our current economic situation really puts it into context. We’re in the deepest recession in living memory, yet now is the time to invest in promotional activity and not reduce or cut it from the budget. Here are 10 reasons why you should rethink your strategy:
- Whether business is good or slow, you have to get your share of whatever is around. Cutting back on your advertising puts you at a disadvantage at the very time when you need an edge. Increasing your advertising gives you that edge.
- In times of uncertainty, buyers are careful and a little reluctant to spend. They want to be sure before they buy; they want information. One of the ways they get information about products, services, prices and value is from advertising. Yours – or somebody else’s.
- Perhaps you think others in your line are going to cut back their advertising so it’s safe for you to do so. Right? Wrong. You’re in competition for the buyer’s £/$ with every other company in town, no matter what he sells. People only have so much to spend and if they don’t spend it on what you sell, they’ll spend it on something else.
- Slow time ahead? Perhaps, but people still need and want goods and services and will spend for them. There is plenty of business to get. Your competitors will be bidding for their share – and yours.
- You can’t do much about most factors in the market-place – rent, labour costs, prices and what the competition will do. But one thing you do control is your own promotion. Remember that advertising is not just a cost of doing business. It is a proven sales tool that returns many times your investment in customer traffic and sales.
- Remember how long it took you to get started? Once you build up a business, you can keep it going with a moderate consistent advertising programme. But if you cut your advertising and lose your hold on the market’s awareness, you’ll find it’s much harder to build it up again. It’s rather like starting all over again.
- Your advertising is part of your sales force. Advertisements help to pre-sell the customer and help you close the sale faster. What saves you time saves you money.
- You say your customers know you and will wait for a while. At least they’ll keep contacting you even if you don’t promote. That’s partly true but short-sighted. Remember people are always moving in and out of the area. So there’s a steady flow of your customers going out of your market and a corresponding influx of people who don’t know you at all. Tell them about yourself.
- Here’s a hard fact to consider. Over any given period, a company that advertises below the industry average has sales that are below the industry average.
- Advertising is news – about products and services. Most customers look for news of this kind in the media, both online and print. In good times, businesses often experiment with other options (events, for example), but when the going gets tough, they concentrate their efforts in print /online because it provides an immediate pay-off at the cash register.
Paul Streeter – Associate, VG&A