In a time of economic crisis, the negative results of sales are forcing business professionals to cut their costs to survive. The question is: should we cut from the funds of marketing?
In a survey conducted in America, 100 senior company executives were asked whether the presence of marketing during a period of economic recession is necessary. 92% responded that marketing plays a key role in the survival and growth of their companies and that they will only make the necessary cuts.
Unfortunately in Cyprus this view does not prevail to such an extent. Cypriot businessmen cut marketing funds very easily, because it is the most direct and easiest way to reduce their expenses, ignoring though the consequences that their actions will bring.
My opinion is that you should not stop marketing, nor to keep the same marketing strategy that you had so far. Think of someone who is walking on the street. If you do not call their name will they turn to look at you? Definitely not. The same applies to the market. If you stop communicating your messages to your customers, the most likely outcome is that they will stop “visiting” you as well.
A marketing manager does not hold the magic wand in order to restore the good old company sales during a period of crisis. Nor will he apply secret techniques and sophisticated methods to develop the company again. His job is to put all the strengths of the company, the most important and immediate benefits you offer to your customers, the reasons that make you unique and special in the market, and then turn everything into a powerful marketing message that will vigorously promote the sector of the market that you target, in the most economical way.
The view that the customer is no longer interested in any of this other that the cheapest price, is not true. Definitely the cheapest price is a major purchasing factor during this difficult economic crisis, but by it cannot by itself sustain or increase sales. On the contrary, turnover and company profits will decrease. Sooner or later the whole market will adjust to low prices, and then what will you do? Will you further reduce prices? But if you completely stop your communication with the market, if you stop showing the benefits and advantages of your products, if you how inertia, then the chances are that when one of your customers is in need of your product, one of your competitors will first come to his mind, because he happened to see his advertisement somewhere. Do not forget that we are exposed to thousands of advertisements each day.
Marketing is the function of a business, the medium if you prefer, that attracts and ensures your customers. It’s really the food that keeps your company alive. We do not indiscriminately cut everything. We do not completely stop advertising. We do not shut down the Marketing Department. We must learn to adapt to market developments, to new trends and to new consumer psychology. We need to watch more closely the way our customers and the whole of the market are buying. There is the need to re-evaluate the methods used so far to attract customers. There is the need to redesign marketing strategy in order to come out of this economic crisis not only as winners but also strong.