Should I reduce marketing budgets due to Brexit? We have tried hard to not get involved in the Brexit debacle, but more and more we are reading posts on social media and in the news where business owners (and private individuals) are commenting on their financial investment plans in light of Brexit.
Naturally, one of the key considerations when making business decisions will be the marketing budget and the choice of whether the amount spent and the tactical activities should remain the same, be reduced or be increased.
At the risk of succumbing to the traits of the typical politician, in not giving a definitive answer – we will try to provide some advice on how to make your decision. Each business is different so without knowing key facts it is almost impossible to give a definitive answer.
It can be easy to jump the gun too early to save money in the bank ‘just in case’. Whilst this can be prudent, if there is no rational business case that is based on falling turnover projections or sales pipelines, reducing profit margins or other market intelligence suggesting lean times are ahead, pulling back on your marketing could actually cause the demise of your business, as essentially you are placing growth on hold whilst politicians sort their lives out!
Wouldn’t you rather be in control of forging your own destiny?
We are great believers that if your business and marketing strategy are based on solid foundations then these plans will ensure your business survival. You only have to look how easily we were talked into a recession last time around.
Yes, lots of businesses did fold, but those with a solid business plan continued to implement their strategy, and not only survived, many came out stronger.
If you find yourself in the position that you need to question your promotional budget it is time to conduct a marketing audit.
This process will help you re-set your marketing strategy and you will come out of it stronger as a business with up to date intelligence and a focused marketing strategy. This will include a set of clear objectives against which you can determine which tactics will achieve them, and an appropriate budget.
If it has been a while since you last reviewed your business maybe now is the time to do so.
Not all marketing has to cost a fortune
Let’s not confuse a reduction in budget with a reduction in activity, as not all marketing has to cost money. Even if times are lean, it is not an excuse to stop doing some basic marketing. Many marketing tactics can cost very little, yet still make a big difference.
Having time on your hands is not an excuse to dwell. Get everyone using this time to be proactive instead. Some ideas include:
- Picking up the phone to customers and potential customers to have a general conversation about their business can often lead to opportunities, or at the very least market intelligence
- Keeping databases up to date so you can email them offers and newsletters that keep you in minds eye
- Social media is a great way to stay in touch and maintain awareness
- Go through your customer list and ensure all of them are following you or connected on LinkedIn etc
- Continue to send well written press releases to get coverage in trade and local press
- Get your website updated with advice articles, news and case studies and share them on social media
- If you do expensive corporate entertainment at major sporting events, share the cost with strategic partners and host them jointly
- Get out and network and meet new people who could be potential customers or be able to refer work to you. (Ensure you add them to your database)
- Get in contact with strategic partners that you’ve not seen in a while
- Talk to your staff and ask for their help to win new business and promote the company (maybe with some guidelines!)
As ever, navigating difficult times can be a bit like the glass half full or half empty syndrome.
If you have a great product or service that is priced competitively and your promotional activities are targeted at the right buyers who deal with helpful staff that are passionate about your company and so deliver a good service there is no reason not to forge your own path – Brexit deal or no deal!
If you would like help reviewing your marketing strategy please get in touch.