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Why Marketing Budgets Shouldn’t Be Cut During a Crisis

May 14, 2020

A good marketing and communications strategy is about creating connections between your brand and your audience. Despite its importance, many view such efforts as nonessential and cut them as expendable, unimportant investments when difficulties arise. While there is wisdom in prudent spending during times of uncertainty, that doesn’t mean you stop communicating with your target audiences.

Here’s why marketing budgets shouldn’t be cut during a crisis. 

“When times are good you should advertise, when times are bad you MUST advertise.” Halting company communication efforts is a surefire way to engineer a prolonged disaster for your company and greater loss for the economy as a whole. 

Unfortunately, our fight or flight instincts often kick in to destroy a well-crafted communications strategy when crisis occurs. We shut down. We run away from trying.

While we focus instead on “more important things,” we effectively stop sales efforts, decrease brand awareness, and let our competition overshadow us.  

If you’re not communicating with your audience, someone else is. So, know that when you cut your marketing and communications budget, you’re ensuring that: 

  1. Your competition will overshadow you
  2. Your brand perception isn’t strong enough to stand during a crisis
  3. You decrease brand awareness for current and potential customers 
  4. You see a decrease in overall sales 
  5. You put the future of your company at stake 

It’s a natural reaction to want to tighten the company belts right now. There is a global pandemic. Our nation faces an economic recession. And, with many industries severely hit, like travel and energy, our nerves are collectively fried. But they don’t have to be. 

We can choose to keep a level head. History is on our side.

In 1991, Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart was asked why he continued to advertise in a recession. When asked, “What do you think about a recession?” he responded, “I thought about it and decided not to participate.” 

Like Walton, smart brands will fight natural inclinations to hibernate and will implement strategies that can drive long term company growth. 

Since the 1920s, history asserts that advertising, marketing, and communicating during a recession is to your advantage. Though we may be inclined to cut back on advertising and marketing budgets, maintaining those budgets and crafting strategic messaging can generate increased sales revenue long term. 

Your audience wants to know what you think and how they should respond to your brand.

Will you weather this storm and support those affected in the crisis? Are you a reliable brand? Can you continue to project and back up strong corporate stability? 

You cannot communicate any of those things without strong, strategic marketing and communications efforts. 

Video is the most effective way to clearly communicate, present strength, and connect with your audience. Those who rely too heavily on email, blogs, press releases, and other traditional forms of media are not only using “inflexible, impersonal, and delayed” forms of communication, but they are also missing out a great opportunity to deliver a message that better resonates with their audience. 

During a time where everyone is on edge, video provides a way to engage with your audience, let them see the people behind the brand, and reassure then that you’re still here, you’re still fighting, and you’re all in this together.

If you’re ready to fight through this difficult time with a smart communications strategy, contact us. Let’s talk about how video can work for you.

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