Investing in marketing during a down economy

Double-down on marketing

Costs are up, but how about your carwash business’ advertising budget?

Companies are feeling the impact of inflation and other macro trends that are causing them to pause normal operations and take a closer examination of expenses and costs. For some line items, that closer examination could be a quick glance. Products — need those. Utilities — not much to do about those either. But, how about the marketing budget?

According to an article by Peter Field, a B2B Institute Research Fellow, during the previous recession, some advertisers reduced their brand’s marketing efforts, resulting in a 20% or more decrease in media advertising revenue.1

However, most experts insist that brands should not reduce, or especially abandon, advertising and marketing in a down economy. In fact, there are many reasons to maintain the established budget or even increase it.

Howdy partner

What is recommended as you’re scrutinizing your marketing budget in a down economy is considering whether or not you’re using those funds wisely. Are you getting the most out of your advertising investment based on your goals? This is where your trusted, reputable marketing partner is of most value.

One-off advertising, such as a single radio ad, is more expensive and less effective than a robust, multi-media package that consists of traditional advertising as well as digital marketing, such as videos, content sponsorships and social media campaigns. The value of a turn-key marketing program that can reach several audiences on many different platforms is critically important in a down economy to extend your return on investment.

Many media companies will reduce rates with higher frequency commitments. Securing a consistent marketing program with a single source is the most cost-effective way to advertise your brand during a recession or down economy.

Getting down to it

So, should you advertise or even double-down your marketing efforts in a down economy? Experts say it’s a safe bet. Here are five reasons why:

Establishes your brand as a market authority. When others unwisely drop out, it’s more reason for you to go in and lean into effective marketing campaigns. As long as your message is positive and informative, the advertisement itself is a strong message. It shows the customer or prospective customer that your company is a stable, reliable brand and will continue to be a solution before, during and after a slow economy.

Marketing in an undiluted field. According to an article on Forbes, digital marketers estimate that most Americans will see around 4,000 to 10,000 ads every single day.2 As budgets tighten and weaker brands cut staff, marketing budgets and more, your concentrated investments in traditional media and digital marketing will have a greater impact on channels that now have less noise.

Generate leads. A slow economy affects most businesses and all consumers. Consistently staying in front of the customer, regardless of economic conditions, will help them recall your brand when and as needed. If you cut marketing and disappear, it’s a missed opportunity and a chance for another brand — like your competitor — to establish familiarity with your customers.

Be among the leaders. America’s most recognized brands already understand that reducing marketing and advertising budgets is not wise. For example, Coca-Cola has supported the Olympic Games since 1928. Through wars, recessions, a depression … you name it, the American icon brand didn’t waver in this partnership. That level of commitment underscores your brand’s leadership and stability. 

When the going gets tough, the tough turn to marketing. Maintaining or even doubling down on marketing efforts shows your employees and vendors that you continue to believe in the product or service they create as well as the longevity of the company. Cutting budgets might have the reverse effect on employees.

Make smart marketing decisions in the coming months with a trusted, diverse media partner and reap rewards during a down economy and into the future. The economy will bounce back and increasing your brand’s visibility during this time is good business. 



Rich DiPaolo is the associate publisher – editorial of Professional Carwashing & Detailing.

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