“Should I be spending as much on PR and marketing when I’m having to cut costs to keep my business as profitable as possible?” This is a question you may be asking as 2022 comes to a close and the start of 2023 looks set to be marred by the ongoing UK recession.
Quite often I find, PR and marketing is at the bottom of many company ‘to do’ lists during a recession. It’s regularly seen as a soft business priority rather than an essential. A nice to have, rather than a need to have.
It’s also sometimes a low priority when it comes to allocating spend to. Which, during these times of economic downturn and spending squeezes, is often why promotional budgets are the first to go. But, here are 5 reasons why it’s important to invest in marketing during an economic downturn.
How To Maintain Your Brand During A Recession
- When household and business budgets are tight due to a recession, people are going to seek out the cheapest option instead of the best option. This is why the more you keep your brand front of mind for your customers, the more likely they are to still buy from you. If you turn off your PR and marketing activity, you will become less visible to them and there will be no reminders of the product they bought and loved when money was more freely available. This is also a good time to steal a march on possible competitors who are not so bold in their approach to PR and marketing.
- You do not want to lose your brand loyalty. Brand building takes time. A lot of time. Like mostly years. Starting from scratch again at a later date is a painful, and expensive, thought. On social media, for example, your followers are used to you being active. Take that away and you will lose them.
- PR itself, as part of the whole marketing mix, is actually one of the more cost-effective activities you can be doing right now to promote your business. The results that your PR team or agency will be producing for you is earned rather than paid for, so a large advertising budget or marketing spend is not needed to get your brand out there.
- You can use PR and marketing activities to show your company in a different light to demonstrate your knowledge of the struggles that others are facing. That could be through CSR activities, giving back to your local community, or through your internal comms making sure you’re listening and taking action where you can to address the worries your employees may have. Of course, as always, be aware of ‘CSR washing’ and make sure your actions are driven by genuine compassion and not to gain column inches.
- Lastly, when times are hard it’s even more important to celebrate and shout about your successes during a recession. You want customers and potential customers to know that you are still operating. You want your employees to feel proud of where they work and not worry about how the difficult times might affect the company they work for and their jobs.