As the days turn into weeks and the weeks turn into months, companies are having to face the reality that businesses and consumers are rapidly moving to digital and more specifically online advertising. Those companies looking to stay relevant to their customers are focusing on their digital strategies, and the harsh reality is that it is likely to be the deciding factor in who makes it through these tough times.
Almost anything that is face to face, including events and travel, has almost overnight watched their businesses completely grind to a halt, leaving them with massive challenges of how to deal with this.
Businesses, including ones that may not have even had a Facebook page before, will now need to move rapidly to Google advertising, search engine optimisation, social marketing, content marketing, and influencer-led campaigns.
A disruptive change like what we are experiencing now means there are opportunities out there for the taking. A key factor in resilience is adaptability.
There is a popular saying, “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you MUST advertise.” Numerous case studies point out the best strategy marketers can have during a recession is to maintain their advertising budget and/or change their marketing message and adapt to the current economic situation as it will bring long term market growth to their brand. Those businesses that market themselves during the down times not only receive a larger share of a smaller pie when most businesses stop their marketing, they also grow faster and even increase their market share when the good times come back.
But the reasons for companies to continue to advertise doesn’t stop there.
Brands that continue to advertise, show corporate stability during challenging times. This gives consumers confidence when making purchases that should they need updates, replacements or fixes that the company will still be there in the future.
The cost of advertising can drop, allowing you to get a bigger bang for your ad spends. This is what you call a “buyer’s market” for brands.
The key is to remain top of mind for your customers when they are searching for the products or services that you provide. Your best chance to stand out from the crowd is to advertise when few others are. The model is simple, fewer competitors leads to more frequent connections with your customers and greater brand recognition moving forward.
However, unlike previous economic downturns where consumer demand drops, we are in a situation where COVID-19 has moved demand from instore to online. So rather than businesses trying to advertise to fewer customers when there are fewer competitors, this situation is that there are fewer competitors but an increasing number of customers.
An example of this was back in 2009 when Amazon sales grew by 28% during the “great recession.” The tech company continued to innovate with new products during the slumping economy, most notably with new Kindle products which helped to grow market share. In a first, on Christmas Day 2009, Amazon customers bought more e-books than printed books. As a result, in the minds of consumers, Amazon became an innovative company by introducing a lower-cost alternative to cash-strapped consumers.
It may sound counter-intuitive to spend money in a down market but for some sectors, it’s an increasing market and that is why it’s an advantage to be online or to increase your marketing budgets online.
So, while it’s great to have a website, it’s critical to be promoting it if customers are going to find you and subsequently purchase from you. If you have products to sell, now is even more important for you to be doing Google Shopping. Google Shopping not only offers cheaper pay per click pricing, but it also converts better than Google Search ads.
What many businesses fail to realise is that people don’t just find you because you have a website. Customers need to find your website and products/services when searching online, which is where digital advertising comes in. It’s also important to understand that doing it yourself may be costing you more money than you think. You need to consider the time it takes you to build and manage the campaigns, the expertise level required, and the fact that you are competing with highly qualified professionals in the digital marketing space.
None knows how long this situation will last; however, it will most certainly be challenging for any company that isn’t ready to adapt to the changing landscape evolving in front of us daily. For those businesses that do recognise the change and embrace their new digital marketing focus head-on, the future is promising.
It’s great to see businesses everywhere lending each other a hand and providing financial support to help share the load. In the case of SLAM Strategy, we are providing 30 Days FREE Campaign Management on any new Google Ads or SEO campaign just so businesses can get a head start and save a little cash along the way.
This is our way of giving back to the business community when they need it most!