During times of economic difficulty, many businesses look to marketing as a way to cut their costs. However, should businesses stop marketing altogether? Or might this have a negative impact in the long run? Let’s discuss.
Why are businesses cutting marketing costs?
The current cost of living crisis is inflating both personal and business costs left, right, and centre. Despite businesses getting a short price cap on energy prices, this is not going to be a long-term solution by any means.
Due to this, many businesses are looking for ways to reduce their outgoing costs, finding cost savings they can put towards keeping their lights and computers turned on. Companies like Meta are offsetting rising costs with mass sackings – 11,000 staff members are to be culled, a shocking 13% of their workforce.
Another way businesses might try to save money is to cut back on marketing…
But, will cutting marketing costs actually help?
During tough times, businesses will no doubt look to cut their overheads, and marketing is often thought of as an unessential cost. However, there have been several studies throughout the recessions of the 1900s and early 2000s, and during the Coronavirus pandemic, that tell a different story.
Not only did brands that continued marketing through economically difficult times better weather the storm, and bounce back quicker, research shows that these businesses also grew when others did not.
In times like this, it can be tempting to start making knee jerk reactions – and one of these costs is sometimes, unfortunately, marketing. Though this will inevitably cut your short-term spending, this can have a detrimental effect in the long run.
Can you cut marketing costs without compromising reach or quality?
Instead of cutting out marketing completely, it might be more fruitful to find ways in which you can reduce your spending. That said, it is important to get the right balance between quality and cost – you will need to find something cost effective that does not offer lower quality deliverables.
An example of this might be to switch to webinars rather than hosting in-person events, conferences, launches, and product demonstrations. Platforms like ON24 offer cost effective solutions that can be tailored to suit whatever event you need – the only difference is that it’ll all be hosted virtually.
This way, you will still be able to reach a wide audience – if not widen your reach to those who normally would not be able to attend – and ensure things are of a higher quality, but also cut back on unnecessary costs like room hire, catering, security personnel, travel costs of speakers, and so on.
Another example might be to utilise social media. You can leverage social media to reap real rewards, such as increased audience engagement, better communication, improved customer support, and more, without having to spend any money.
In addition, the benefit of other businesses cutting their marketing budgets means that there will be less ‘noise’ from competitors or larger brands, but there will still be the same amount of organic traffic.
Thus, continuing to market during these times can allow you to set yourself apart from the crowd, take advantage of a less competitive market, and bolster brand reputation as stable and reliable during turbulent times.