It’s easy to look at your budget and wonder if your marketing budget is something you need when people aren’t spending the way they used to. When economic times are tough, the first thing to keep in mind is that it won’t last forever.
The business world is a cycle, and you want to make sure you put your business in the best possible position when it inevitably picks back up. This means ensuring you keep your marketing budget, even in an economic turndown.
Recession isn’t a word anyone enjoys reading, we’re not fans either. We’ll use the word recession as we outline how to navigate your marketing budget during an economic turndown, but it’s not meant to scare you. We’re here to make sure you’re fully prepared and know how to keep your eye care business thriving during, and after, these daunting times.
Why Marketing Still Matters
When budgets are tight, it’s common for marketing to be the first thing to go. However, during a recession, marketing should be one of your top priorities. Companies that’ve recovered most quickly from previous recessions didn’t cut their marketing budgets, and in many cases increased them.
Keeping a Relationship With Your Current Customers
Marketing supports you in maintaining and expanding your customer base. It’s more important than ever in difficult times to keep your existing customers happy and loyal! Marketing can assist you in actually succeeding in this by keeping them informed of new products, services, and deals.
Attracting New Customers
Marketing can assist you in attracting new customers. Even in a bad economy, people are always looking for good deals (maybe even more than in a good economy!), even when it comes to eye care. Smart marketing can help you reach out to these potential customers and encourage them to try your eye care business.
Communicating with Your Audience
When a company’s marketing efforts get stale, or stop altogether, so does much of its communication with its customers. Customers will be left wondering about the business’s stability and how much they care about customer retention, and they will eventually forget about the brand entirely.
Here’s what could happen if you completely cut your marketing budget:
- Your competitors may overshadow you.
- You’re conveying a lack of corporate stability.
- New customers won’t come across your brand.
- You’ll see a decrease in business overall.
Marketing Strategies during Economic Turndown
There is no doubt that businesses across the board are struggling. However, big problems always lead to even bigger opportunities, and we’re not just trying to be overly optimistic. Rather than cutting your marketing budget, we recommend that you look for ways to refresh and improve the efficiency of your marketing.
Social media use and overall screen time are on the rise, largely due to the pandemic bringing the normalization of remote work and technology. All of us have grown accustomed to spending more time on our devices and making larger purchases through mobile apps, and eye care businesses must adapt accordingly.
Reaching out to these customers by adapting to their shifting priorities (including, and especially, sustainable business practices) has already shown to be effective in terms of generating engagement and cultivating a positive brand image.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Examine your target market to ensure you’re reaching the right people.
- Examine your current marketing channels to see if there are any that can be reduced or eliminated.
- Make sure you are measuring your results to determine what is and isn’t working.
- Invest in marketing automation or other tools to make your work easier.
Make an unforgettable mark so that when survival becomes revival, your brand is the most memorable. Almost all purchase decisions are influenced and made at home.
Lockdown has simply focused attention on the location where we most frequently shop and browse. The at-home consumer has always been and continues to be an important audience.
Discuss Your Strategy with Your Marketing Team
It may be tempting to cut back on marketing, but there are ways to carry out your current strategy more efficiently to maximize sales. By being wise about where you spend your money, you can stay at the top of consumers’ minds without overspending.
Marketing budgets shouldn’t be cut on a whim or because it appears to be an easy target for necessary cuts. Staying true to your marketing plan, even during a recession, will result in a stronger rebound when the market corrects itself, as well as greater long-term success for your brand and its loyal customers. Discuss all of your options with your marketing team before deciding on a budget. They will most likely work with you to achieve your objectives, even if budgetary changes are needed. Your relationship with your marketing team should be open and honest; they, too, want to see you succeed and will do everything in their power to help you do so.