The UK is facing one of the most testing economic climates – and scariest Halloweens – in recent memory thanks to Brexit. But instead of hysteria sweeping the nation, what we’re seeing is hesitation.
Unfortunately, this is just as harmful to businesses as hitting the panic button.
Companies left, right and centre are pausing spending as we count down to the deadline. And marketing is usually the first budget to get the chop – regarded as a “luxury” that can be rebooted at a later date (when things have calmed down).
But by then it could be too late. The brands that held their nerve will be reaping all the rewards…
In this blog, we speak to Martin Wroe – a business leader who benefitted first-hand from doubling down on marketing during the last recession.
Why marketing is your main asset in a crisis
When the 2007 financial crash arrived, Martin’s resin company had a decision to make. Should the board pull the plug on marketing? Or keep going? Determined to maintain growth against the odds, they decided not just to sustain their efforts, but up the ante:
“We’d been spending £20k on our marketing, but made the decision to raise this by £100k,” Martin tells us.
“Our 800k turnover and 200k profit grew to 900k and 400k respectively whilst businesses around us closed their doors.
“We continued to see these numbers increasing steadily year-on-year, and by 2016, at 6.5m turnover and 1.5m profit, we were in the perfect position to sell the business.”
Being progressive and proactive in an anxious environment makes you hugely attractive as a business – not just to customers, but also to potential buyers.
“Whilst everyone around us wasted time treading water, we put ourselves on the map,” he says.
The importance of strategy
Marketing comes easily when the economic climate is stable. Buyers have their wallets at the ready, and opportunity is all around. The opposite is true during uncertain times, which makes strategy all the more important when planning your marketing.
“Sustained marketing will separate you from everyone else – but you can’t be putting any old dross out – you need quality,” says Martin.
What worked well previously might not make the same impact in a difficult climate. You can’t simply be churning out marketing material for the sake of it. Your copy needs some edge, bite and direction. It needs a strategy.
“We partnered with a reputable marketing firm to design and build a strategy that tapped into our strengths as a business and offered us the right type of exposure.”
Planning your content’s format and distribution path enables you to take the goals, pressures and personality of your audience into account. This can be born out of strategy workshops and content brainstorming sessions, giving you a blueprint that doesn’t just cut through the chaos – but actually generates results.
“We took a multichannel approach – improving our website and our social media – whilst targeting the areas where our strengths lay. We focused on specific subsectors in our local area and grew our base there before expanding regionally.
“It’s those who keep going that’ll succeed after Brexit. You should always aim to dedicate 10-20% of your overall budget on marketing. It will separate you from the pack.”
Start building a recession-proof strategy
Most businesses will look to cut costs when facing an uncertain outlook. But marketing should never be a victim. In fact, it should be pushed to the front of your strategy.
Martin’s company did exactly that – and reaped the results.
With the right strategy, you can show your audience just how good you are and what value you can add – even during the more “testing” economic environments.
That’s where a marketing partner comes into play. By using our team to distribute quality content across multiple channels, you’ll become the go-to brand in troublesome times and remain number one long after the competition starts up again.
Get in touch with MYC today to start building a content plan that exploits the opportunities within the current climate.
Special thanks to Martin Wroe of N7 Business Solutions. Learn more about his consultancy and support services at: wearen7.com.