Illusive: // lacking in reality or substance or genuineness; not corresponding to acknowledged facts or criteria.
I came across this definition of illusive and it struck me — this is often how small to medium-sized companies that rely on 3rd party agencies view marketers, especially during a slowing economy. And rightfully so, too often companies are not experiencing a sophisticated marketing experience to guide the next steps forward.
With that said, these four reasons listed below will bring clarity to your potentially unconscious decision-making relating to marketing during a slowing economy.
REASON #1: Quite frankly, you’re working with bad marketers
Why is marketing and advertising the first to be cut in a slowing economy? To be frank, it’s because historically marketers have done a poor job creating strong objectives and justifying costs to prove ROI. This isn’t to say it’s not a good move to cut back on spending — but the better question is why? If you’re cutting just as a knee-jerk -“that’s just what we do – we cut marketing,” – therein lies the problem. Marketing often operates off of “feeling” and when your financial department is told to tighten up, marketing and their “feeling” tracking methods are too risky, and it’s because you’re either working with a rookie marketer or, you simply don’t have properly functioning marketing in your organization.
REASON #2: Not being adaptive to the strategy soon enough
One of marketing’s major functions is to be strategically adaptive. That being said, good marketers facing a downturn continue to do what they always do – make clever adjustments to the existing strategic plan; it’s the difference between being reactive and proactive. Fueling this inability to properly adjust the strategy is the lack of supportive data therefore leaving marketers to rely on feelings and assumptions — and in light of a downturn economy, fear is the key feeling in the driver’s seat.
REASON #3: It seems sensible to put the marketing plan “on-hold”
It’s common for small to medium-sized companies to decide to shelf the marketing plan and revisit when the economy starts to pick back up, and it’s total shit. The contents sitting on that shelf will be well expired when you go to grab for it. No market, company, consumer, or society comes out of recession the same – so that pre-slowing economy marketing plan? Either adapt it or bid it adieu. A marketing plan should never be viewed as a static thing; it’s a living/breathing tool within an organization that should act as a recalculating GPS system as you face changing climates, new objectives, challenges etc. If you find yourself in this position, check out our 6-Step Recession-Proof Marketing Plan.
REASON #4: You’re unaware of the huge market share opportunity
Well-trained marketers know that turbulent times bring significant opportunities to get ahead of the competition. Considering most of their competitors make feeling-based decisions and lack the support of finance departments, good marketers recalculate their strategy with these advantages in mind.
If you’re anything like me, reading through these four reasons brought a rush of silver-lining dopamine. And while it’s one thing to read about it, it’s another to put it into practice. Hopefully now, the lens you view marketers through during a potential recession are a bit sharper and allow you to more easily identify if you’re well-equipped with a qualified marketing team or not. In the chance your left stranded or suddenly with an open position, shoot us a message about what you’re up against and we’ll be happy to set up a cat-chat on the house to help you determine what to do now, next, and how to pull it all off.
Marketing Strategist + Client Relations | CreativeCat.Co