April 29

Should you invest in marketing during a crisis

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There were some signals of a downturn coming but nobody expected a global pandemic and crisis of the scale we’re experiencing right now in the second quarter of 2020. Businesses from all industries have found themselves in an unprecedented situation — a situation that no one could have foreseen or planned for. The best contingency plans did not predict a crisis of this magnitude. 

One of the first reactions during a crisis is to cut costs; and that’s often a very good approach. But, as with anything else, cost-cutting has to be strategic and put in a bigger context. After all, you don’t want to saw off the branch you’re sitting on, right? 

So it begs the question – should I or should I not invest in marketing during this crisis? It depends on your situation and you’ll need to make the decision yourself; but here are several considerations you should take into account: 

  • Take Advantage of Lower Advertising Costs — Advertising on social media is at the cheapest level in 10 years. What used to cost $1 now costs $0.10. So if you can spend $100 to get 10x the return you would have gotten just a few months ago, perhaps it’s worth doing
  • Take Advantage of Less Competition — Now is the time to be visible and play offense, because most businesses will be playing defense. That means less competition and more opportunities for you. If you can get in front of the eyes of your potential customers at the cheapest level, then it sounds like a reasonable approach
  • Consider Your Conversion Rate — Does your offer convert? If it does, now is probably a good time to double down on it and add fuel to the fire. If your offer doesn’t convert it’s probably better to save your advertising dollars right now. Why? Because you need to conserve cash during times of crisis, and testing offers without having enough cash reserves is not the best strategy
  • Build Your Pipeline for Less — Even if your clients aren’t buying from you right now, you can still use this time to build your pipeline. When things go back to normal in a few months you’ll be teed up with all those leads you’ve gathered. If you “save” the marketing investment now, you’ll be building the pipeline later when there’s more competition and higher advertising costs. Plus, you won’t be ready to run as soon as this is over… instead you’ll be trying to build momentum at the same time your competition is.

If you’re in a position to invest, now is a very good time to keep your marketing focused on getting new business. Keep in mind that you might not close the new leads right away, but the pipeline you’re building now will pay off in the long run. Your marketing efforts will be the cheapest now and your ability to stay top of mind for your clients will go a long way when things go back to normal. Your clients focus on two important aspects when making purchase decisions: price and trust. If you keep building your brand – and your clients’ trust in you – right now, your marketing efforts will bring the expected return later. 

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash


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