Why Marketing Matters During Times of Uncertainty – Guest Blog

I run the risk of being called insensitive during these times of uncertainty, but hear me out… your future success in business may depend on it.  I own and operate an extremely advanced digital marketing platform on behalf of dozens of businesses, large and small, and have been peppered with questions regarding what should be done about our client’s marketing efforts during these uncertain and tumultuous times.  As a result, I thought it would be useful to not only share these thoughts with our clients, but with the rest of you as well.

In the world of marketing and advertising there are only 2 types of businesses: those who see marketing as an expense and those who see marketing as an investment.  If you are the former – seeing it as an expense – please stop reading.  I’ve learned that after 30 years there is nothing I can say or do that will change your mind.  You will probably cancel your marketing programs until “things turn around”.  I get it.  Carry on.  But those of you who are unsure if it’s an expense or you already understand that it’s an investment, please keep reading.

Sales are on the decline.  Margins are already thin.  Profitability is evaporating before your eyes.  The world has gone crazy and there’s no telling when this all ends.  But rest assured, it will end.  And if you play your cards right, you’ll be ready to capitalize on the turnaround by gaining new customers, increasing your market share and quickly erasing the losses you’re experiencing today.

In order to understand how this works, you have to look at this from a CONSUMER perspective, not as a marketer or business owner.  Right now, millions of would-be consumers are sidelined; stores and restaurants are closed, schools and public gatherings are canceled, and tens of millions are working from home.  All of this equals an incredible opportunity.  All of these consumers still have needs, they’re just being delayed.  Demand is being pent up and will be released once uncertainty is alleviated and confidence restored.

The result of this uncertainty is equally important for the marketer. People are spending more time than ever consuming media across all of their devices.  They are searching for news online.  They are seeking entertainment options while sheltering at home.  They are undertaking household projects that have been long forgotten or indefinitely delayed due to the stress of every day life.  They are STILL planning, researching, intending, engaging, activating and even converting in preparation for a return to normalcy.  However, if you elect to cancel your marketing programs, they will have no way to interact with you, your brand, or your products or services.  You cannot be a part of their decision making matrix if you aren’t there to win their business.

There’s another benefit to all of this, there is an inventory glut given the increased audience size and time spent online.  And given that we’re mostly in a Realtime Bidding environment for digital inventory, the CPM costs are being deflated.  So now, more than ever, you have the opportunity to stretch your marketing dollar further than ever.  More reach, more frequency, and more interaction all equals better recall and top-of-mind awareness.  Your competitors who canceled their marketing begin losing share to you.  You are now positioned to recover more quickly, more efficiently and more effectively.

In summary, if you view your marketing budget as an investment in the success of your business, this time is more critical than ever.  Continue the investment you’re making without hesitation.  Contemplate beefing it up, if possible.  But know this: YOU are doing the right thing and will see the return on this investment in the long run.  Happy Marketing!


About the AuthorTomKramer_Essex

Tom Kramer is the President and Co-Founder of Essex Digital, a Cleveland-based digital marketing agency that develops custom marketing intelligence systems, and has been since 2012. Tom has around 30 years of experience, 8 of them with Essex. Essex partners with 898 Marketing to enhance the online and digital presence of our clients and ourselves through strategic ad creation and placement, digital consulting, data collection, and a host of others.