Ironically one of the first budgets that companies cut when times get tough is their marketing budget. The very aspect of business who’s sole purpose is to make more sales and boost the bottom line, gets cut. I can’t really blame businesses leaders though when so much of what they hear is “this look… that look… artistically speaking…”. It sounds like a bunch of fluff. And it is.
But customers love fluff, especially in a down economy. Fluff represents stability in an unstable world. It tells customers that you are serious and that you will endure through the hard times and still be there when all is well. So planning ahead and strongly defining your brand look is the key to cutting your fluff budget during hard times.
A well defined brand look will reduce production time of each piece. By not having all the colors of the rainbow to choose from, by being able to quickly eliminate graphic styles, and fuss less over piece layout you save production time.
Taking the right messaging approach is key as well. Now is not the time for brand building pieces. You know those ones that don’t really have any thing to say. That simply put your product or service in context of lifestyle?
Well, the majority of lifestyle is to cut expenses and reduce debt. So cut expenseses for your customers. 10%, 20%, 50% off! And let your customers know it. Hand out, mail, e-mail, print in the newspaper coupons the week before. Broadcast the event across the radio and television, and tell people how they can take advantage of your sale.
This applies to B2B as well. When your business sells to other businesses, how many clients are you going to loose because you were unwilling to take a small cut?
Survival is the name of the game here. There’s really only one question you need to ask yourself. “Is it better to make 20% more sales at 20% less than it is to make 20% fewer sales by not reducing rates at all?”