As we are moving forward, there are a lot of things we just don’t know about the economy. Will inflation affect spending and investment? Are we finally reaching a new equilibrium when it comes to wages and unemployment? And most importantly, will your business or industry be affected in a significant way?
All of this might seem familiar. The specific factors have changed, but the prevailing mood of uncertainty hasn’t. It’s been with us the last three years as we’ve gotten through a pandemic, a (partial) recovery, supply chain shocks, a war, and so much more.
The point? Business owners haven’t been able to rest easy or count on “normal conditions” for quite a while now. That can make it difficult to plan for the future, especially when it comes to your marketing strategy. Should you be looking to maximize short-term cash flow, reduce your budgets, or do something completely different?
Fortunately, though, history offers some lessons. Whether you go back a few months or a few decades, there are some obvious signs about what to do next.
Don’t Let Fear Grind You to a Halt
The temptation, when tough economic times come, is often to scale back on everything. This is particularly true with marketing budgets, where it can sometimes be difficult to draw a direct line from your ongoing campaigns and the results they generate.
While you should be scrutinizing all your expenses (more on this in a moment), what you shouldn’t do is let fear back you into a corner. The minute you stop marketing your company, you cut off avenues to future sales and revenue. Then your business becomes stagnant and you set yourself up for bigger problems down the line.
But Also Don’t Waste Resources
While you certainly don’t want to stop marketing, neither should you throw time and money at campaigns that aren’t producing anything (or aren’t likely to in the future). The tighter your cash flow is at the moment, the less room you have for experimental campaigns.
This is a good time to take a deep dive into your web analytics and assess what seems to be working, as well as which activities could be paused or halted altogether. Of course, if you’re having trouble making those determinations, you can always get a bit of extra help and perspective from a dedicated marketing partner.
Creativity Always Wins in the Long Run
The one thing you should always remember is that in uncertain economic times, it isn’t the business with the biggest budget that wins – it’s the one that can generate the most engagement. That’s almost always a matter of creativity rather than spending.
This is especially true in the internet age. If you can come up with social media campaigns (as an example) that generate a bit of buzz in your market, then you can bring loyal customers to your company almost for free. The same thing is true of search engine traffic. Even better, that sort of organic growth is more profitable and sustainable than what you would get from a heavy ad spend.
Need Help Squeezing More Impact From Your Marketing Budget?
If you’re looking to get a bit more from the time and money you spend on marketing, our team is here to help. Contact us today to set up a free consultation so we can show you how we develop other small businesses to take a big step forward without huge budget increases.
It only takes a moment, so reach out to our team today!