March 14, 2023

When times get tough, don't cut back on marketing

When times get tough, marketing is an easy target.

Let's cut back on spending. Heck, let's get rid of all our marketers.

Unfortunately, it's misguided and a mistake.It may help in the short term but hurts long-term prospects. Marketing loses momentum, the brand suffers, and customers don't see you as often.

If history has taught us anything, companies do better when they stay committed to marketing.It's companies that see marketing as an integral part of how they operate today and tomorrow.

On the Marketing Spark podcast, I couldn't resist talking to Parry Headrick about marketing cuts.Parry experienced the pain first-hand a few months ago when five clients decided to back off from PR.

One of them not only walked away from Parry's company but eliminated its marketing department.Parry said a big problem is that marketing and PR often are seen as overhead by people who don't understand marketing and PR.

They look at balance sheets and decide that if marketing isn't "working", it should be slashed.Meanwhile, sales don't go anywhere because it generates leads.

"It is, unfortunately, an unsophisticated view of the way a company is run," Parry said. "The more sophisticated the companies and the more battle scars, the more they understand that cutting marketing and PR during a recession is like going on a hunger strike during a famine. I mean's it's self-flagellation.

It makes bouncing back from the difficulties 10X harder because now you've gone silent and all of your key audiences are thinking, "Oh, these guys must have gone broke."

If you're a company that hasn't shied away from marketing, I'd love to hear why you've taken this approach.Conversely, it would be great to hear from companies that have pulled back on marketing and why they've done it.

If you're doing no, little or ineffective marketing, we should talk about creating a powerful customer story so you can reach the right people in the right places.

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