Advertising In A Recession Yes Or No ?
Mark Hale ‐ October 25, 2013
Are You Trying to Sell a Secret?
This year is shaping up to be a year packed with uncertainty. The stock market goes up and crashes the same day. The news media tells us we are heading for a recession then that we are in a recession and there is no hope for us. The negativity can be overwhelming if you listen to it. The question may become, “Am I wasting money advertising now or not?”
As managers and owners of businesses, what do we do when we hear the constant bad news? You could pull back, tighten up the reins, hunker down and try to ride it out. You can cut back advertising and promotion hoping to save money and improve your bottom line. But is cutting back going to improve your business? No. Why? Because you are stopping the one thing you have that reaches out and lets people know you are still there and open for business. The other option is to increase your advertising and promote more.
Research and experience has shown that cutting advertising and promotion during economic downturns speeds the downfall of a business. The reason for this is with reduced or eliminated advertising people, customers and prospects simply forget you are there. They may have a need for what you do but end up calling your competitor instead. Why? Because you are trying to selling a secret! They forgot about you.
I don’t care if you have been in business for 50 years, the simple fact is that people forget and if you are not in their face on a daily, weekly or at least on a monthly basis they do and will forget about you. I know this cold, hard reality may strike your ego a blow squarely in the face. But this is one of the primary reasons why we see well-established businesses that have been around for years go out of business, their customers forgot about them. They felt everyone knew they were there. They didn’t need to advertise. Their customers started doing business with the new guys across the street.
No matter what you may think or feel, there is always a number of people who are ready to buy what you sell today and more will be in the market to buy tomorrow and more next week and next month. If consumers are not thinking of you when they are ready to buy what do you think the chance is they are going to buy from you? Probably not very good, hence the beginning of a downward spiral for you if you are not advertising your business.
Think of your market as a big bulls eye. The center of the bulls eye is the buy now zone consisting of people who are ready to buy today. As you move out to the outer rings of the bulls eye, these make up the “consideration” or “thinking about buying it” zones.
Some people may be days or weeks away from buying, others months away. Experience tells us that when people are in the outer rings of the marketing bulls eye they are forming decisions about what and whom they are going to buy from.
Think about the last car you purchased. Did you, one day, just go out and buy a car? Or did you, for several weeks or months in advance, notice different makes and models of cars and think about how you would look behind the wheel? Did you ask friends who had a specific model how they liked their car? Did you read consumer reports? Did you research who had the best price?
The rule of thumb is that the larger the ticket item, the longer people are in the “thinking about buying it” zones. The smaller the ticket, the quicker and more often people move in and out of the buy today zone. So, if you sell a relative small ticket item or service, people move more quickly in and out of the buy now zone. With big tickets items people move slower. The way to get your UNFAIR share of the business in the buy now zone is to reach, influence and make people aware of you while they are in the awareness zones. To become known you have to advertise consistently.
If people are not aware of your business when they are in the “thinking about it” zones, what are the chances they will come in and buy from you when they are ready to buy? You would have better odds of hitting on the slot machines in Las Vegas. When you cut back your advertising and marketing you are effectively putting your business and future of your business in the category of being a SECRET. You cannot sell a secret. People do not buy secrets.
One of the services we offer at Wilson Printing is help with your marketing. We assist businesses with not only design and printing but help with developing concepts to attract customers.
There are several ways to advertise. We happen to be very good at helping businesses use direct mail marketing. Direct mail is effective. If you would like to know more about it, please feel free to contact me.
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