Economic downturns and other crises can spur bad business decisions. Whether a pandemic, a recession, or other unforeseen circumstances, tough times often lead to changes. If any of those “changes” mean budget cuts, the marketing budget is often the first to go.
While the logic may seem sound, cutting marketing at the first sign of trouble is a dangerous move. What many forget is that marketing (and market research) is an investment, not a cost. You put funds into marketing now to reap the rewards later.
Here’s why a solid, data-informed marketing strategy is more important now than ever:
Back in March when the pandemic hit hard, many marketers stood paralyzed, unsure what to do. Others were more agile and responded right away to the sudden changes. Early actors like Hotels.com and Delta airlines have been praised for their ability to quickly adapt to changing market climate and consumer needs.
If your brand wants to be a leader, you should be measuring customer sentiments and behaviors as they occur, not after the fact.
Your customers may not be able to spend as much as they want right now. While profits may be slowed or even suffering for many businesses, staying top of mind is as essential as ever.
You need to remain engaged, empathetic, and continue to provide value – even if the sales cycle has become a bit longer. When you keep appearing in front of your customer base, they’re more likely to remember you when things improve. If you do it really well, they may even become brand advocates.
Effective marketing happens when you understand your customers. And when you recognize that those perceptions can and will shift – especially during turbulent times. Information you had months ago may suddenly be out of date. In the light of fast-changing behavioral patterns, you should:
While you should always practice these principles, in a crisis they are more important than ever. Keep up your marketing regularly even through hard times like you would any other investment. It will pay off.
Your business needs to get comfortable with marketing in times of uncertainty – because uncertainty is the way of the world. This pandemic will subside, but there will be other world-moving events in the future.
Tough times should push brands to be even more strategic. Competition becomes tighter during an economic downturn or time of distress. So you need to stand out head and shoulders above the rest. That’s where market research is your secret weapon. With accurate and relevant insights into your audience and changing trends, you can differentiate yourself in even the rockiest of times.
Are you looking for a strategic market research partner to help address your customers’ needs? Contact Voccii® today.