It certainly hasn’t been business as usual for the past few years. Markets are still finding their footing after the disruption of the pandemic. We don’t know yet the outcomes of an ongoing war in Ukraine. There are continuing supply chain and inflationary pressures leading individuals and businesses to be much more cautious than usual in how they spend.

We see a reluctance to market and advertise unless it offers an immediate return on investment (ROI) we can’t reasonably promise.

It’s part of the job description when you’re providing marketing and design services that you have the confidence that what you provide will work. In general, it does, but it also takes time to work, the pressure to shorten the cycle of success notwithstanding.

The nervousness and hesitation we see in some potential clients in understandable. Their bottom lines and cash flow projections are being impacted by a business environment that isn’t rewarding normal confidence.

But in all that, we don’t think it’s a time to panic or run around desperately looking for miracle solutions. It’s a common thing to say in our business that the best time to market is when your competition is cutting back, and marketing is usually one of the first to fall to that behaviour.

“The sales of a brand are like the height at which an airplane flies. Advertising spend is like its engines: while the engines are running, everything is fine, but, when the engines stop, the descent eventually starts.”
— Simon Broadbent

You can benefit from your competition’s conservatism by moving forward a plan that emphasizes your company’s brand story: what you do, why you do it, what makes you different from your competition.

As we said, it takes time, and it also depends on the buying cycle for your product or service. Do your customers need more of your product every day? Or does it last for years? Your marketing plan doesn’t have to be elaborate or a huge part of your budget, but it needs to be large enough that your customer base notices it and remembers it.

Eyes Wide Open

The overall point is that being steady and consistent with the long-term brand story puts you that much farther ahead than those that have paused and lost momentum. By continuously marketing and advertising you’ll be in a better position to have your short-term sales activation messages seen and heard as the market re-energizes itself in the coming months.

Do the larger brands stop promoting themselves during unsteady times? No, they don’t. They know to play the long game and keeping their name and their products on your mind will ensure you are primed for when you are ready to buy.

While you’re thinking about it, here’s the most basic thing you can do to begin to understand how people see your business. For new customers, whether it’s a phone call, an email, or face-to-face interaction, always ask, “How did you find us?” They’ll say a friend recommended you, or they saw your signage, and so on. Write it down.

You’ll begin to understand where your customers come from and why. From that seed of real information, you can begin creating a marketing strategy to target them and, over time, increase the size of the net you cast.

Infinity Reef is a small, nimble agency that outperforms for its size and responds well to client engagement and collaboration. Contact us and we’ll be happy to have an unhurried, in-depth conversation with you.