Most small and mid-sized local businesses have had to make all kinds of tough decisions since the Recession began. According to American Express, only 20% of these firms have been able operate profitably without major cut-backs in staff and operating capital.
Marketing is an obvious target for most budget cutting. The only problem with chopping the marketing budget is its damaging impact on sales. According to numerous studies over the last 80 years, firms that eliminate their marketing decline rapidly during tough times. Those that even cut back modestly lose significant market share to the few firms that don’t cut. They also tend to miss significant gains in the first 2-3 years of recovery.
So how do you make a tough budget decision that preserves your near-term viability without causing an even greater long-term problem? Simple: cut your marketing budget to the bone, but spend your remaining dollars to dominate an audience – no matter how small that audience may have to be. It’s a principle that smart advertisers have been using for decades, through good times and bad, but one that proves essential for every firm when funds run tight. Read more »