Is it a good idea to cut your Marketing spend during a global pandemic?

Short answer: Not at all! You may think that cutting your yearly spend on ‘non-essential’ elements such as marketing, will benefit your business viability in the long-term, right? Wrong. Performance marketing may actually be one of the most important elements to retain during periods of economic uncertainty. Marketing your business is the only way that consumers will know who/what you are, and besides – consumers are still consuming! Your customer offering must be of high value if you are continuing to sell at this time. You will have noticed that a number of brick and mortar store-fronts have transitioned to e-commerce platforms where possible – but, what if this is not an option for you?



Fight the urge to cut your marketing spend! Maintaining a trustworthy and strong brand identity throughout this crisis, will aid in boosting your follower database. Remember, these built-up consumers will likely come to you once the economic market returns to fruition. The American Business Press reports that companies who continue their marketing campaigns during times of economic uncertainty, actually grow 4 times faster than those who do not! In addition, a 2009 McKinsey study revealed that high-tech companies who invested in their marketing efforts during periods of economic downturns, emerged as industry leaders when the economy eventually improved. Harvard professor, Gerald Zaltman, revealed that 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious – Consumers will remember which brands were prominent across their social media/online platforms in recent weeks– therefore, your consistent presence is likely to inform and enhance their choice of your brand when faced with post-pandemic purchasing decisions.



Channels such as TikTok and LinkedIn are booming right now

While we advise against completely cutting your marketing spend, the marketing efforts you retain must be strategic – distinguish between what is needed and what is wasteful. Your messaging may need to adapt to the current situation by addressing the Covid-19 situation, and by lessening your ‘hard-sell’ approach. Channels such as TikTok and LinkedIn are booming right now– whereas Podcast listens are down due to work-commutes becoming non-existent. Try out new channels to advertise your products and services. However, you must not focus entirely on revenue generation during this period– consumers are vulnerable, and this must be considered. This time availability must be used to build your client database. Ad rates have decreased as a result of businesses pulling their advertisement expenditure – should you follow suit? No, make use of the low rates in order to double down on your audience building strategies.



With the majority of global citizens confined to their homes due to imposed lockdowns – social media and online consumption has dramatically increased. In the USA alone, Facebook users increased by 2.5% between February and March, accounting for over 5.5 million people. While Instagram has also experienced a rise in users by almost 4.4 million people since February – an impressive 3.7% growth. As you can see, this is the perfect time to invest in online marketing campaigns. Consumers are searching for ways to be entertained, while simultaneously planning what they would like to do when the pandemic comes to an end. Unless you are an essential consumer service right now – growing your accounts is more important and realistic than increasing profit. Planning for the future will place you at an advantageous stand-point in comparison to competitors who rely on ‘old media’ platforms. Here are some examples of marketing ideas which will reach out to a new audience:


  1. Interact with followers through Instagram and Facebook stories. This is an extremely direct approach which incorporates the use of polls and question tabs to encourage consumer interaction with the page.
  2. Run competitions and special offers. Competitions requiring user shares, will further the reach of your page beyond immediate following and has the potential to grow your database. While the introduction of special offers presents an enhanced form of value to the consumer – building upon brand loyalty.
  3. Publish more blog posts. Keeping potential and current followers informed of your actions taken during this crisis, will allow them to feel more familiar with your brand.
  4. Talk about Covid-19. Everyone can relate to this!
  5. Get rid of unnecessary marketing techniques and elements of your online presence which have proven in-effective.
  6. Give back. Hold a virtual fundraiser for charity – this will enhance your brands standpoint among consumers as an organisation that prioritises the better good rather than simply revenue intake.
  7. Expand beyond your usual social media channels in order to adopt a new range of followers.
  8. Consider new target markets. For example, if you’re a restaurant furniture provider, you may want to look at targeting corporate offices and the healthcare sector in the future instead.
  9. Consider altering ad release times. Consumers may be present online at different points of the day now due to more time spent at home, which must be considered when releasing new advertisements.

In a world of uncertainty, one thing that we can control is our resiliency. As a business owner, recognising the need to retain your marketing spend allows you to remain agile and open to changes which may be occurring within your market. Commanding a prominent position now within the public eye, will let your consumers know that you will be there for them when this pandemic ends. Consumers will return to the brands that are regularly posting and interacting with their databases.


In preparation for life post-coronavirus, we must continue to keep moving forward. Use this time to phase out the unnecessary marketing elements which you have adopted along the way. Instead, use this period of economic uncertainty to focus on essential brand-building marketing techniques which will ensure a positive growth in loyal consumers. While you may save money by taking on these tasks yourself. Outsourcing marketing spend to professional agencies will ensure a greater return on investment – and will save you a lot of time and effort! We are living through unprecedented times. Marketing efforts that worked 2 months ago, may no longer make sense to your business now. Strategize and audit your current marketing techniques before your competitors. Anticipate the long-term and prepare to capture consumer sales when the economy recovers.

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