When the economy is up or neutral we point at our astute marketing programs as the reason for our success. Then, when the economy turns downward a bit we state we have no control our marketing programs are no longer justified. What!?
I would agree that not every marketing program or initiative is as effective in tighter economic times. But, if marketing has been part of your success till now then marketing has to be a priority spend when you're feeling crunched. Don't spend less, spend different.
I was with a large accounting firm during the last down economy. We were spending around $12,000 a month to have a diorama advertisement (the advertisements on the wall along concourse walkways) at a local airport. When the economy got a bit tough I suspended the diorama branding program and used the money to support a client teaming initiative and boost our targeted community programs.
In another instance I suspended any dollars spent on supporting our trade show booth at industry conferences. Instead we purchased banner stands that were strategically placed at the very same events and I increased the number of firm professionals in attendance to mingle and network with the audience
Adapting your marketing programs to changing times is essential, but spending less is an invitation to failure. If marketing got you here, then marketing will get you through. Don't spend less, spend different.
(Return to Marketing Success in a Down Economy index)