Say the “R” word
HMAwards 2019

Say the “R” word

It’s been on everyone’s minds for a while now. Whispers, murmurs and rumblings of it since early last year at least. An economic downturn was feared, and now a recession could be around the corner, accelerated perhaps by the terrible developments of the coronavirus pandemic. It may have happened sooner or later but it’s time to say the “R” word.

A business sometimes can’t control what its income will be, but it can control most of what goes out. Costs will be cut, operations streamlined and sadly in very unfortunate circumstances jobs will be lost. One of the first things that companies used to cut was their marketing budget. However, its well documented that this will probably only help in the very short-term and that maintaining or even increasing marketing spend is more beneficial. Go ahead and Google “Marketing Spend Recession” and you’ll find everyone says the same thing.

So why spend more when there are no foreseeable benefits? Less marketing spend from the majority of brands will mean less “noise”. When your competitors say less, whatever you say can have greater cut through and clarity. During adverse times, brands need to portray an image of stability and support to reassure consumer confidence. Brands also need to remain visible and maintain or increase their share of mind, share of voice and share of market. Advertising rates will also decrease, meaning you won’t have to spend so much on media buy.

Even if marketing budgets are cut a little, with Smart Thinking you can make them go further. Consumer behaviours change (especially at the moment) and your marketing strategy will have to adapt accordingly. Don’t go for a seemingly cheap option for short-term gains. For instance, a common myth is that owned media is much cheaper to leverage but think of the resources needed to maintain that. So, you have to readjust, and balance owned, earned and paid media. A long-term view and strategy are what will see your brand through these difficult and trying times. Tactical campaigns can help, but it’s essential to base your strategy on the bigger picture.

Say the “R” word. It’s probably here. This one could be the most damaging of our time. But we have to embrace it, adapt and thrive. Because there is never any other choice. The tunnel to recovery might be long, but your brand needs to be in a position of strength when it comes out the other side. Certainly, quick and hard decisions will have to be made but take a step back first and give yourself an objective and measured view. Mistakes can be costly at the best of times but catastrophic at the worst of times. Yes, your marketing has to work harder, but it also has to work smarter. And now more than ever it needs to be relevant to your customers new lives.

Recession isn’t for the faint-hearted. We know, we remember the recession of 2008. The world beat that one and now we must find ways together to beat this. We’ve learnt a few things that will hopefully help us in this coming fight and Smart Thinking is what LAW is all about. For us and for our clients.

LAW Creative is a fully integrated, multi-award-winning marketing communications agency. For Smart Thinking, Strategy, Creative, Technology, Data and script to screen Film Making. For an informal chat about how to further streamline your marketing and creative strategy feel free to contact keith.sammels@lawcreative.co.uk or brett.sammels@lawcreative.co.uk.