Have you been living under a rock recently?
If you haven't been, then almost certainly you will have seen all sorts of conjecture out in the news about whether or not the economy is slowing down - both here in NZ and globally.
The Reserve Bank here in New Zealand has been slashing interest rates, and there seem to be clouds forming on the economic horizon (such as sharp falls in business confidence).
Now, I'm not here to talk politics. I'm not here to talk economics. But what I do want to talk about is the fact that in an environment with falling business and consumer confidence, what can often happen is one of the first things that you'll do is you'll look to where you can cut costs in your business.
One of the easiest ways to cut costs is to cut your marketing budget.
However (and despite my clearly inherent bias toward valuing marketing) I think there are some excellent reasons why you shouldn't look to cut marketing investment in the backdrop of a slowing economy.
The first reason is that a slowing economy gives you a great opportunity to get ahead of your competition.
As we know, when things slow down, businesses tend to spend less money and time on marketing. This means your competitors are likely to scale back their efforts. In turn, this means that it should actually be easier to push ahead of them. If you are able to maintain (or possibly even grow) your marketing activity and make it more efficient while your competitors are reducing theirs, then you position yourself well in the marketplace.
Secondly, during an economic downturn, marketing can actually become more affordable. If businesses start reducing their spend on marketing channels like Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or newspaper & trade publication advertising, then supply and demand dictates that you should be able to get a better deal.
Maintaining a focus on marketing in a slowing economy also means you will be better positioned when the economy recovers. You won't have to play so much "catch up" to start leveraging growing consumer and business confidence and spending.
So if you want to keep marketing even as things are slowing down economically, how can you achieve this in a cost-effective fashion?
Here are a few things to look out for:
In the coming months I'm going to be focusing my content very heavily on how businesses can reduce wasted marketing spend (both online and offline) as well as improve the ROI from what is already being spent and invested.
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