As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, businesses across the world are feeling the pressure. Unprepared for the severity of these current events, multiple sectors have felt the impact with a huge blow to the economy. Many businesses are left wondering whether they should stop their marketing campaigns altogether. With decreased demand for many products, difficulty accessing certain services, and the mounting financial pressure, companies are concerned about the practicality of marketing.
These concerns are understandable during times of economic uncertainty; however, it's essential to add up the pros and cons before making any knee-jerk decisions.
The pros of stopping your marketing campaigns
1 . Saving money
The decision to pause your marketing efforts, for now, means one less business expense to worry about. Depending on the products and services that you offer, you may be experiencing a decrease in demand. Your response to this decrease depends on your position in the market at this time. Is it likely that further marketing is going to help your business to ramp up demand? Or, is it the case that your products are simply not desirable purchases at this time? If your projections show that marketing will have little impact on your demand, it may be best to hold fire.
2. Shift your focus
Stopping your marketing efforts gives you a little time back to shift your focus elsewhere. Perhaps you can take this time to plan ideas for new future products; get your tax returns in order, or train your team (remotely) about cybersecurity. If pausing marketing is financially necessary for your business right now, remain positive and use this break productively across other areas.
The cons of stopping marketing
1 . Decreased brand awareness
Freezing your marketing campaigns during the COVID-19 pandemic will likely result in decreased brand awareness. In the modern and fast-paced world of tech, consumers expect brands to remain consistently present via social media, blogging, video content and ads. With so many similar businesses competing for consumer attention, without your marketing campaigns, your brand visibility will likely decrease.
2. Missed opportunities
The coronavirus pandemic is a huge challenge for many businesses, whether big or small. Yet with every challenge, there also arrive opportunities. Using technology, you may be able to offer some services virtually? You might even put together a new product to meet the needs associated with COVID-19?
The pros of continuing marketing
1 . Adapt & improve your services
You've worked hard to grow your business and build your customer base; it would be a shame for your brand visibility to decrease. Continuing your marketing during the current crisis opens up new possibilities to adapt and get creative. Perhaps you've always operated as a brick and mortar business, and now customers can't visit your store? If so, now is the perfect time to get your online shop up and running (and market it like crazy)! Maybe you're a personal trainer who now can't meet clients in person? Why not adapt by offering online sessions at a reduced rate? No matter which kind of business you run, there's every chance that by using technology, you can adapt your services to keep yourself afloat.
2. Respond creatively to demand
It's no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has increased the demand for certain products, namely food, medical, and household items. Now you may not produce these kinds of products currently, but this doesn't mean that you can't make a few changes to respond to demand. Craft beer company 'BrewDog' recently brought out their own brand of hand sanitizer. Household appliances brand 'Dyson' have been called upon by the UK gov to supply medical equipment. In the spirit of these examples why not rack your brains and get creative?
3. Consumers are online more often
As the lockdown goes on, consumers are spending more time online than ever before. With all that potential to tap into, continuing to market your business will extend your reach. Many consumers have money to burn, yet are stuck at home unable to go out. In this situation, there's still plenty of potential for 'business as usual'. Whether it's board games, craft supplies, book club subscriptions, video games or alcohol delivery options, the public need plenty of ways to get through the quarantine!
4. Relevant content opportunities
Entrepreneurs know that visibility online is all about providing your consumers with relevant products and information. During this uncertain time, people are looking to the Internet to learn about COVID-19 and gain advice on how to cope. Whether it's advice for small businesses, mental health coping strategies, updates on government response, or tips on food storage, use the current situation as a chance to provide valuable content. Consumers look to online publications such as blogs for assurance and guidance. Offering this info will help to establish your brand as a trustworthy source. Any marketing attention you gain from blog articles, will help to keep your products and services popular.
5. Support for businesses
Thankfully, the UK government are introducing various forms of financial support during the current crisis. You can find out more information here, about the types of business support available and how to apply. With a little financial support, you may be able to keep your marketing campaigns up and running, ensuring that you don't miss out on sales. The best case scenario is to keep on growing, despite these adverse circumstances.
The cons of continuing marketing
1 . Spending money
As mentioned above, continuing your marketing during the current crisis means you'll still have these expenses. If you're looking to save money right now, it may not be the best move. Having said this, some marketing services are offering discounts to help businesses cope during this time. It might be worth seeing if you can stretch your budget a little and hang in there!
Freezing your marketing campaigns throughout COVID-19 might seem like a wise move at this time. However, when you take a closer look, it's evident that this may not be the best decision in the long run. Instead, try considering ways that your business can adapt to the current crisis, and market these positive adaptations to your audience. Seek to keep up your brand presence by offering your community valuable information sources. To for financial help if available, and attempt to ride out the storm, before putting the brakes on your company and its success.