How Should a Struggling Economy Affect Marketing?

With the economy struggling many companies are looking to trim expenses.  One common target is the marketing budget.  While that certainly might be a reasonable plan, some people undertake it in a panic mode rather than examining it’s effect on the business.  For example, a common method is to simply have a set monthly budget and cut it by some percentage.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to analyse what is resulting in new business and remove the ineffective marketing efforts?  Before cutting marketing dollars to weather the economic climate, make sure you aren’t cutting a valuable vehicle for revenue.

I was recently speaking with a business owner that claimed she had lost a couple sizable clients,  could easily envision losing more in the down market, and was cutting marketing efforts to weather the storm.  I was confused because what I was hearing was that she was losing existing revenue and not putting any plans in place to replace it.  That sounds like a recipe to go out of business. 

No one is actively looking to go under, so be careful in what gets cut.  It is certainly not the time for frivolous spending but haphazard budget cutting can be equally disastrous.  A struggling economy should affect marketing.  It should make it more streamlined.  Analyze what you are currently doing from a marketing standpoint.  What activities are being done just because that’s what has always been done?  What marketing activities are generating leads and sales to keep the bottom line viable through this challenging time?  Remove the dead weight but be sure to nurture the effective strategies.

The worst thing that can be done to marketing is ending it without knowing why.  Many people will make that mistake over the coming months.  Those individuals that take the time to analyze their results will find themselves in an admirable position.  Not only will their marketing dollars be better spent than before, they will likely have less competition as other companies haphazardly cut marketing efforts to decrease costs.


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