Value in Marketing During Crisis

Looking for ways to cut costs without having to furlough or lay-off employees has become a very high priority on many companies’ lists during the current pandemic. Unfortunately, I know far too many organizations that have decided one of the easiest targets for these cuts is the marketing budget. This may not always be the wisest choice during times such as these. Similar to the stock market, there are times to actually buy when it seems like everyone else is getting out. While your competition is reducing their marketing spend, your best strategy may be to stay-the-course or even increase your expenditures. The reason is value.

Typically, dollar-for-dollar investments in marketing can pay back exponentially during times of crisis because your voice may be the only one your potential customers are hearing. In addition, because other organizations are cutting back on marketing, you may find that many marketing firms and agencies have the available resources to get projects and campaigns completed quickly.

There are a couple of pivots you will want to make in order to be as effective as possible during times such as these. First, you need to consider the organization’s brand language and messaging. Although you definitely want to provide a marketing or brand message, it must be done in the context of the circumstances that we all find ourselves in at the moment. Just re-running existing ads in trade publications will not work.

Secondly, making use of social media marketing during times of crisis can be extremely effective. This especially rings true when it is used to highlight an organization’s good will or core belief action. In many ways, these posts are really more a form of PR but I like to refer to them as “Golden Rule” Marketing – showing your organization doing for others, as you would wish to have done for you. The overall value of these types of posts are priceless. In many cases, these will do more at building your brand legacy than any amount of money you can spend on marketing in the coming year.

Finally, use this time to build content. There are ways to effectively communicate your message and brand during these times – as mentioned above – but you need to be aware that your potential customer is also extremely preoccupied. Therefore, now is the perfect time to create content. This may be creative content, such as ad copy or brochure mockups, or content marketing, such as white paper or blog postings. Regardless, now is the time to build a library of content that can be unveiled once the pandemic is over. This is an value investment that will pay huge dividends in the future.