Reallocate—Don’t Terminate—Marketing Budget During Coronavirus Crisis - BrandMuscle
Reallocate—Don’t Terminate—Marketing Budget During Coronavirus Crisis
May 8, 2020
In times of economic uncertainty, marketing budgets are often one of the swiftest victims to business-as-usual operations. Some brands view marketing as an unnecessary expense, others may have concerns about it being insensitive to advertise during this time.

However, a Kantar survey of more than 35,000 global consumers found that 92% of consumers don’t think brands should stop advertising during the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, consumers expect brands to play their part by adjusting their marketing strategy to help with daily life and keep people informed of what steps they’re taking to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus without exploiting the situation. The survey also involved a theoretical test on a real beer brand. It found that if the brand cut all of its marketing spend during the crisis, it’d have a 13% impact on long-term sales, whereas a 50% drop in ad spend would result in just a 1% drop in long-term sales.

Even if you need to reduce marketing spend, don’t terminate your efforts altogether. Instead, reallocate funds to tactics and campaigns that better suit the new homebody habits and evolving needs of consumers. Even with a reduced budget, smart re-allocation will allow you to retain sales during the coronavirus crisis. Here are three things to consider when re-allocating your marketing budget:

1. Focus on digital

Trade shows have been cancelled, advertisements aren’t getting any foot traffic and in-store promotions may be out of the question. If you accept the cancellation of your core marketing programs, you run the risk of erasing the brand awareness and relationships you’ve developed with your customers. Try to maintain a level of normalcy with your customers by re-allocating your marketing budget from events and physical ads to digital marketing. Maintaining an online presence lets them know your business is still there for them, even if your product or service offerings have shifted. You may even find that digital marketing tactics, such as PPC ads, social media, SEO and content creation generate more engagement and increased ROI because more users are online at home under quarantine measures.

2. Promote utility items

Coronavirus has dramatically impacted consumer needs and mobility. Therefore, you should shift your marketing budget to focus on promoting items that solve every day needs and can be easily delivered or picked up. Consider what products or services people need or desire the most right now, whether they can be used at home and if you can creatively tailor the offering to be even more relevant. For most brands, this may mean choosing to promote straightforward utility products over premium or specialty selections. Even though in-person sales may be slow, or even nonexistent, online sales are peaking as people stay safe at home during the crisis.

3. Research trends

Research trends that are happening in your area or industry, then channel your resources to harness those trends into your business and marketing strategy. You can do this by researching what keywords people are entering into search engines across the web, keeping up with news outlets that report on your industry or directly observing consumer behavior. Once you’ve identified trends that are relevant to your business, you can create content that directly answers customer queries, tailor your SEO and digital ad strategy around trending keywords or even introduce new products or services that are in demand.

Terminating your entire marketing spend could make it harder for your brand to bounce back once the crisis has stabilized. With a few simple shifts in the messaging you present to your customers and the channels you reach them through, your brand can maintain a meaningful marketing presence even with a reduced budget.

Ready to re-allocate your budget?

Contact BrandMuscle to determine how to get the most value out of your marketing spend.