Posted by Stuart Walters on January 27, 2022
The impact of a global pandemic on small businesses has been unprecedented over the past two years. With closures, lockdowns and reduced demand for services, many small business owners have had to rethink the day to day running of their company, including their marketing spending. This has sparked debate amongst entrepreneurs and advertising experts; the question remains “should brands continue to advertise during a crisis?”
Suspending Advertising Isn’t a Long-Term Solution
It’s a challenging thought, but brands probably shouldn’t start cutting back on advertising spends too soon when a crisis arises. It might be a quick and easy cost-saving solution, but consumers actually expect to be advertised to at these times. Suspending a marketing strategy isn’t a long-term solution for recovery, and historical evidence shows that continuing to advertise is often hugely profitable for the future. Businesses simply need to change their angles and messaging to suit the tone of the situation.
Allow Your Voice to Be Heard
The value of increasing or simply maintaining your advertising budget during a recession or crisis should never be underestimated. It’s a smart move as an entrepreneur, as it guarantees a higher share of the market at a time where competitors are pulling back. This is the time to fuel your growth, allow your voice to be heard in your sector and increase the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. When a crisis strikes it’s not the time to reduce noise, as your competitors will be ready to swoop in and enjoy a higher market share. Once the economy is back on its feet it will be harder to recover if you opt for the quiet route now.
Consumers Expect to Hear From You, Even During a Crisis
As a small business owner, you might feel on edge about advertising your brand during a sensitive time. Clearly, there is an assessment to be made for your business as to whether it’s appropriate to advertise. Usually, consumers expect brands to speak out during times of crisis and tailor their language carefully and mindfully towards the current circumstances.
Establishing the Right Tone
A lot of research shows that buyers have no problem with advertising campaigns during times of crisis, such as pandemics. There is still a place for brands at a time like this, but it’s important to consider the tone and context of ongoing marketing campaigns. Small businesses need to align with the emotions of their target audience and provide a sense of support and comfort. Thinking outside the box during this time is fundamental; steer clear of cliche language and be authentic about how you’re handling the current crisis. Show your audience behind the scenes at work and how you’re supporting your employees and the rest of society as a whole. Authenticity and true compassion is the angle to adopt when continuing your marketing strategies during times of crisis.
Why Should You Carry on Advertising?
During this current time of uncertainty and any other times of crisis that emerge in the future, it’s important to have an action plan for your ongoing advertising strategy. As mentioned earlier, it is very tempting to cut back on your advertising costs and go quiet during tricky times, but you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to make a connection with your audience. Holding onto your profits in the short term won’t facilitate your growth in the long run, so it’s important to keep investing in your advertising as much as possible. Taking the hit now and coming out stronger in the end will not only benefit your company, but it will also allow you to stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds during the crisis.
Advertising Action Plans
Committing to long-term success is possible, as long as you have contingency plans in place for your business. Your current advertising strategies should live on no matter what the financial climate is. One of the first things to consider is increasing your advertising budgets when your competitors turn quiet. This will give you a louder voice in your industry and a bigger market share when the crisis eventually subsides. Secondly, you should think carefully about how you reframe your advertising campaigns and languages to show support and solidarity with your audience. Stay true to the values of your company, but don’t ignore the problems that the world is facing at the moment. Finally, test your adverts with your audience to see how your audience reacts during these times; this will give you a good indication about the tone and angle of any given campaign.
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