Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Important Reasons Not To Cut Advertising

I hear it a lot.  " I want to cut my advertising twenty percent".  "We are so busy we don't need any more advertising".  Sometimes those are words that are really hard to swallow.

I'm not saying this because I'm biased and in the advertising business.  I say it because to grow as a company you need to build a list of new customers.  How can you do it if you don't advertise or promote your personal brand?  It's a really good question.

In this day and age there are plenty of ways to get your name out there, or drip feed the public about your products and services.  But you can't do it by sitting on your heels and cutting back what was instrumental in getting you there in the first place.  Here's a list of some of the drawbacks you will face if you cut your advertising or marketing dollars:

Your reputation could take a hit.  In my 25+ years of selling advertising, high end office equipment, cellular phones, and even trinkets like gift items, I have found that one thing holds true.  In the relationships that I have established and the people I have visited with, people often mentioned the businesses that weren't advertising anymore.  They referred to them like they were financially unstable.  You don't want to give people this impression because it's hard to get them back in the right mindset.

If you aren't moving ahead, you are probably taking a step back.  Again, you need to add new business, more butts in the seats, more people in the gates if you are going to grow and prosper.  Many people believe in the theory of increasing revenue with the customers you do have, but there are always the customers that disappear or go away.  You must replace them with new customers, thus new revenue flows.

Work to retain the competitive advantage.  If you cut ads, you cut market share.  Cutting costs during a recession is expected, but you also want to retain your competitive edge.  The only way to do this is to stay in the game and let people know you have drive to grow and succeed your business.

View your marketing as an investment, not an expense.  I can't stress how important it is to target and reach out to your customers.  Give them reasons to do business with you.  If you don't reach out to them, they have no reason to know if it's worth doing.   Treat your marketing plan to reach these people as an investment.

Know your customers.  Know them inside and out.  Know how economic times might be affecting them, and respond to their needs.  You may have to revise your products if you have to.  Develop a lower cost alternative that is a win/win solution for everyone, always with your customer in mind.  Make it easy for them to find you.

If you cut, how will they find you?