During times of financial uncertainty, like we’re currently experiencing, we often hear that marketing and communications budgets are some of the first to be cut. However, when things are changing, communicating with your customers and marketing your business is more important than ever.
Here’s some advice we are giving to our clients about how to best manage their marketing investment when money is tight.
Know where you get bang for your buck
There’s no better time than now to evaluate where you get the best value from your marketing and communication investment. Depending on your objectives – sales, awareness, credibility – you can ask these questions:
- Is your investment delivering tangible results that align to your business goals?
- Are you getting more inquiries, requests for work, referrals from partners or “foot” traffic through the door/website?
- Is engagement with your social channels increasing and are more people reading your blogs?
Know what’s working so you can focus on this and forget those activities that are taking time but not delivering results.
Focus on marketing that is agile
As a business you can control and quickly adapt social messaging, website content, digital advertising and email communications. These are some of the channels that we’re telling our clients to focus on at the moment. In this ever-changing environment, content, creative and frequency needs to change more regularly to keep relevant. With the rate of change right now, our advice is don’t “set and forget” your planned marketing but “review and adapt” weekly or fortnightly.
Go old school and talk to people
Maintaining relationships and fostering and building growth are key pillars in any business. You can’t have these without good, consistent and honest communication. With face-to-face restrictions still in place, go old school and pick up the phone.
Spending half an hour on the phone with past or existing clients may take time, but it isn’t costly. Staying front and center clients’ minds is important right now. When they are ready to buy, they’ll more than likely remember the phone conversation versus a blog they read.
Say it and say it again
How much communication is the right amount? Ponder for a minute that one financial advisory firm issues no communication about the impact of COVID-19 while another sends 3 per week. The latter may be considered overkill but the former has a more serious impact on brand and reputation. While getting too many emails on the same subject can be annoying, receiving no communication makes people question the credibility or usefulness of an organisation. Whether you’re communicating to employees or customers, in the current environment, reiterating important key messages is important to demonstrate your value. So, say it and say it again.