In the current climate of economic uncertainty, it is massively tempting (and probably feels necessary) to stop paid digital advertising, or at the very least slash your advertising budget.
After all, marketing is usually one of the easiest costs to cut - especially something like Google Ads where with just a few clicks of the mouse you can cancel your advertising.
However, my view is now is not the time to be drastically slashing your paid digital advertising activity.
You may well need to make rational reductions, in light of the rapidly changing realities of the economic landscape. If your business doesn’t have the financial resources at play to continue to advertise in the same manner you’ve been doing, then you need to “play by that playbook”.
But you should definitely look to continue to do some advertising, even if you have to cut your costs strategically.
Firstly, there is no doubt that the pie is shrinking at the moment. If the pie shrinks and you stop advertising, then your slice shrinks even faster. You get a ‘double whammy’ effect from the combination of wider market decline and then cutting your inbound inquiries even further by reducing advertising.
Depending on your industry etc it may not be possible to grow in the current climate. By continuing with marketing - however - you may be able to at the least stem the decline somewhat. That could be as close to success as you can hope to get at the moment.
Secondly, if you are contemplating pulling back on marketing and advertising, chances are your competitors are as well.
If your competitors are withdrawing their spend, then this means reduced competition on platforms like Google Ads.
Reduced competition means lower costs per click and potentially higher click and conversion rates.
Therefore, even a reduced amount of budget may be able to make a substantial impact for your business.
Finally, continuing to advertise also means that you are setting your business up for success when the economy starts to recover. This might be in three months, six months, a year’s time or longer - but it will eventually happen.
If you can eek out some marketing now during the tough times it will position your business better for the next boom time.
I would encourage you to review your digital advertising campaigns and identify the “top performers” (the 20% of advertising that generates 80% of the results). See if you can allow the budget to keep this going.
For example, if there’s a particular ad group or campaign within your Google Ads account that delivers solid leads/sales at a competitive cost per conversion, see if you can keep it going (even at a reduced budget).
You may need those leads/sales to tide yourself over in the coming weeks and months.
The rapid deterioration in economic conditions caused by Covid-19 is a challenge, to say the least. However, businesses that are able to continue with marketing and promotion (even in a reduced capacity) are likely to suffer less severe impacts AND be better placed for recovery - possibly even giving an opportunity to leap frog competitors who are going to be pulling back as well.