If your business is hard-pressed due to the coronavirus pandemic, you’re likely looking for ways to reduce expenses or adjust your budget. Now, it’s a well-known fact that marketing funds are the first on the chopping block during periods of recession or any type of crisis. However, doing that can sometimes cause more harm than good to your business in the long-term. That is why you must be wary when implementing any such changes. With that in mind, we decided to showcase a few tips on how marketers can cut costs during the corona pandemic without any long-term adverse effects on their revenue. We’ve prepared a list of dos and don’ts for all of you business owners out there.
We’re sorry to break it to you, but traditional advertising methods must go. Most of the world is in self-isolation or under curfew, so there will be nobody to see your flashy billboard on the highway or take your flyer on the street. Similarly, people are watching more TV and spending time online rather than reading newspapers, for example. Oh, and cold calling is a no-no as well. After all, you don’t want to annoy your customers with sales phone calls in the times when everyone is fighting to make ends meet due to a substantial increase in employee layoffs, do you?
Now, it’s true that the effectiveness and popularity of traditional media have been declining over the last decade in favor of its online counterpart. However, that disparity between the two is now even more enhanced due to this global pandemic. With that in mind, the field of traditional advertising is likely the best place to save money right now.
Are you going to lose out on much? Unless you don’t exist on the internet, no. But, if for some unknown reason you haven’t put your business on the web yet, it’s high time you did it.
Regardless if you’re a traditional, digital, or video marketer, you’re undoubtedly no stranger to a variety of marketing tools and software. Whether you’re using keyword research and email marketing tools, video hosting services, or premium data analytics, you’re probably aware that these can cost a pretty penny. At the end of the day, you or your company might find yourselves with substantial monthly expenses purely from subscription fees to these aids.
Now, we know just how vital most of these tools are for your marketing operations, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more cost-effective solutions out there, does it? Yes, the cheaper alternatives might not offer all the data your premium ones do, but you have to set your priorities straight here. Overall, there are many affordable marketing tools out there that you can consider to cut costs; you just have to be ready to sacrifice a bit of commodity for the sake of preservation.
Once this crisis is over, you can resubscribe to all the premium services you’re used to. However, currently, it’s essential to be as frugal as possible.
As we’ve already hinted at the beginning of our article, stopping all your advertising endeavors in favor of minimizing costs can be detrimental to your business. That was even proven in a study by Harvard Business Review. The said research discovered that the companies that cut on marketing costs during recessions have the lowest profit margins after them.
With that in mind, instead of decimating your advertising funds, you should funnel them wisely. But what do we mean by that?
Well, it’s simple. You should take advantage of the cheap advertising alternatives out there. A fantastic example of that would be upping your social media presence. For starters, there’s an abrupt rise in internet traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic, and with it, a spike in the usage of platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You, as a brand, can you utilize this sudden growth in social network activity to communicate with your customers directly, which is needed now more than ever. By sending a heartfelt message, showing sympathy, or offering help, you might not achieve any immediate revenue increase. Still, by building brand loyalty that way, you’ll assure yourself a bright future at no cost at all.
Now, another thing you can (and should) do is make use of the currently low CPC and CPM rates. By focusing on, for example, paid social media advertising, you can get the most bang for your buck at the moment. Don’t make the same mistake many others did. Instead, capitalize on their errors by taking advantage of these low prices.
This advertising method is yet another affordable option for getting your product or message to your customers in isolation. Now, we know that email advertising isn’t the most lucrative method out there, but it’s cost-effective. And why do we think it is particularly useful now? Well, according to BounceX, both email engagement and conversion rates have been steadily rising since the beginning of March. So take advantage of that!
Although this point might not be a direct way to save money, it is essential in the entire process. Namely, in a rapidly changing economic and marketing environment, such as during this pandemic, staying on top of your game and quickly altering your strategies is essential to making the most with what you’ve got. Business owners must remain on their toes and adapt their marketing efforts on the fly. That is why it’s crucial to conduct regular and thorough analyses and reviews of your analytics. If you notice something is not panning out well, you can adapt on the fly and save money. After all, sometimes, preventing losses is more valuable than achieving profit.
This idea might be the first to cross the minds of many business owners out there when it comes to cutting costs. However, by firing or furloughing half of your marketing team, you will do more damage to your business than you might think. Namely, as we’ve already briefly mentioned at the beginning of our article, this course of action may prove detrimental to your future success.
Let us elaborate.
With most businesses, marketing is what brings a steady flow of consumers to your brand’s website or store and, thus, product. If you cut the fundings of that sector, that line of communication between you and your source of revenue (the customer) will be severed or significantly weakened. And by damaging that bond and reducing your brand’s reach, you will both reduce your customer conversion and retention rates. “But can’t I just compensate for that after the crisis by increasing my marketing budget?” you may ask. Unfortunately, since we’re dealing with humans here, not numbers, things aren’t as straightforward. Here’s an example of what’s more likely to happen.
As you can see, the once-lost customers due to reduced brand exposure caused by budget cuts can’t as easily be won back. So this course of action is not the one you want to take.
This advice might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many brands invest too much into particular campaigns. Namely, every marketing campaign and media channel has a diminishing returns threshold. But what does that mean?
It’s simple — that is a point after which a particular channel or campaign begins to provide lower responses and conversions, regardless of the amount of funding you pour into them. In other words, after a point, additional investments in those channels or campaigns start to give lower turnover.
During this global pandemic, it is especially vital to identify that threshold successfully. After that, you can invest your excess funds elsewhere (or save them).
This point might seem counterintuitive, but it’s one many industry professionals give. After all, many brands out there have been forced to change their business models and adopt new strategies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and likely you will too. So why not try something new? Adapt your social media strategy, dip your toes into video marketing, or give live streaming a shot? In the end, whatever you decide to do, it’s essential not to hesitate. Yes, change is scary, but it leads to progress and, ultimately, survival.
We know that the times are hard, but this pandemic will pass. And when it does, everything will return to normal… Or, well, it will if you don’t falter in the meantime. So stay strong, and don’t give in. And if you’re interested in more advice, check out our article containing six marketing tips to help you weather the pandemic.
Good luck and stay at home!