How to evaluate your marketing plan during a downturn.The difference between Price and Value is something all marketers need to know and use during our daily lives. With the current situation, its importance will only increase. As marketing professionals we are going to be doing daily battle with attacks on our budgets during these uncertain times. Now more than ever, we need to prove the value of what we do. Our co-executives may look at marketing tactics and only see price. We must show them the value.
You may have already had the “Cut Back” not “Cut Off” conversation regarding marketing. Assuming it went well and your company has not decided to go completely dark during this unprecedented downturn, you may be considering “What next?” How do I best determine what to cut back on, what to completely stop, and where to pivot budget into? Let Value be your guide.
I wish I could tell you that there was a silver bullet or magic recipe for the right answer. There is not. Every business has its own nuances and those nuances will determine the right combination for you.
Choosing to eliminate the highest priced tactic may not always be the best choice. Here is where you really need to rely on good data to find the best value or return. Often times the things that cost more produce the biggest returns. Be sure to look at your marketing plan in a variety of data-driven ways. While you may have a tactic that is less expensive (paid Facebook ads vs. paid TV broadcast ads), make sure you know the return you get from each before making changes. The tactic with the higher rate of return will create more revenue and help with cash flow.
What's important is to evaluate your options based on their value, not just their price. Start with your business plan and determine where/how you get your biggest return.
Some other things to consider:
- If your business is service oriented or reliant on returning customers, you may want to reallocate funds to focus on strengthening your existing relationships.
- If your company is struggling to stay afloat, you may want to shift away from long-term brand building strategies. However, if there is still demand for your products/services during the downturn, now may be a great time to strengthen and grow your brand recognition.
- Don’t assume if everyone else is doing it, I must too. Yes, digital is very strong right now but is it the right medium for your audience? There are other tactics that people are actively consuming like TV (streaming and broadcast) as well as radio. Out-of-home and sponsorships probably aren't the optimal choice right now. Make sure the tactic and creative execution fits the current environment, but more importantly, provides the right value for your brand.
Focus on what increases revenue and value and not just price alone. You will go a long way in navigating the right course for your brand through this downturn and into more prosperous times.