The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis is unprecedented in many ways and business owners were caught off guard, especially those businesses who were suddenly deemed to be “non-essential.” Being forced to close your doors and adapt to new, contactless ways of doing business placed business owners in an unprecedented position where they had to make very tough decisions about safety, staffing, spending, and how to serve a reduced client base in new ways.
During times of pandemics and the economic crisis that often accompanies them, business owners often become understandably panicked about their increasing overhead costs and rapidly declining revenues and immediately react by cutting spending on any aspect of their business that they deem to be “non-essential.” Some owners even go so far as to drastically reduce or completely stop all spending on marketing efforts. Is marketing your business really a non-essential element of your success?
History has shown many examples of companies who continue marketing efforts during an economic downturn and those who don’t. Historically, the results are clear. Companies who deem marketing to be an essential element of their success and continue to find new and creative ways to market their business throughout the crisis fair far better than their competition who does not.
Looking back to previous times of unprecedented economic crisis, Forbes.com compared two cereal companies, Post and Kellogg, during the Great Depression. Post essentially stopped their marketing efforts while Kellogg continued to advertise, even going so far as to double their marketing and advertising budget. Did Kellogg’s strategy work? Absolutely. Kellogg’s profits increased by 30% during that time, helping to propel them to become an industry leader for decades after.
During this current unprecedented economic crisis, we have seen firsthand, the results of businesses that have continued to invest strategically in ongoing marketing efforts compared to those who have taken a non-strategic approach and decreased or stopped marketing altogether.