published on April 3, 2020 - 4:25 PM
Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.

No business could be faulted for looking at all options for belt tightening in this time of crisis.

For some, marketing budgets may be the first to go. But before taking that step, know that studies going back one century highlight the advantages of maintaining and even increasing ad budgets in a weaker economy.

That’s the assessment of a contributor to named Brad Adgate, an independent media consultant. In his September 2019 piece, he lays out several reasons to advertise during a slowdown.

These include:

— “The ‘noise level’ in a brand’s product category can drop when competitors cut back on their ad spend. It also allows for advertisers to position a brand or introduce a new product.”

— “Brands can project to consumers the image of corporate stability during challenging times.”

— “The cost of advertising drops during recessions. The lower rates create a ‘buyer’s market’ for brands.”

It also includes fascinating case studies on industries that kept ad budgets during downturns. They include dry cereal, imported automobiles and quick service restaurants.

A cut in ad spending can also lead a brand to lose its “share of mind” with consumers. On the flip side, your absence in the market could be a competitor’s opportunity.

Think twice before slashing ad budgets. Targeting your desired segments may be less expensive than ever. Keep this in mind: While there will be a (hopefully) short term economic impact to consumers, the business-to-business sector will be less impacted.

For more information about marketing in a downturn, check out this Harvard Business Review article.

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