Marketing seems to be the first aspect of business that gets cut when sales dry up, but why is this?

Say it’s your quiet time, so perhaps you think it’s best to reduce your marketing spend? Likewise this can happen when the sales book becomes full too. “We are smashing sales targets so let’s reduce our marketing spend.”

I wouldn’t recommend either action.

Are you too quiet?

If you are quiet then use this time to analyse why. Perhaps your promotions need to be tweaked or changed to get new customers? Maybe a complete change of marketing strategy is needed? Don’t be afraid to be brutal and honest with yourself and, thus, your marketing. The most successful SME’s put more effort into marketing during the quieter months. Sometimes it’s worth asking a marketing consultant to come in and take a look. An “outside-in” approach can, in most cases, give an indication on how your marketing can be rejuvenated.

We work with a ‘report and refine’ model using the data taken from results and analytics surrounding your campaigns. Digital marketing is very good at showing where your engagement is working and where it is not. Sometimes it can just be small tweaks which make the biggest of impacts.

Understanding your existing customers and what they want from you is a great foundation platform in which you can create a marketing model to attract new clients. Ask your current customers what they like about you and the reasons why they continue to use you as a service. This will give you great insight, and, in most cases it gives you a boost. It reminds you why you are good at what you do.

Are you too Busy?

If you are busy then we would never recommend a reduction of marketing, as you never know what’s around the corner. Giving consistent reminders of why you are here to clients is a must. In some cases that tweak might fill in some sales gaps. SME’s panic at the thought of having to turn work away, but sometimes it is not a bad thing. I have helped all our clients to stop saying “yes” to everything – such as multiple print ads and radio adverts – and focus on the services they are good at providing, while stopping or sub-contacting the parts that they are not so good at.

When a business is working well, it is the perfect time to look at different marketing possibilities knowing that the core of new and repeat business won’t be affected. With the inset of the new GDPR in May 2018 this will be the perfect opportunity to refresh your marketing in line with the new regulations. Especially with the resurgence of direct mail and leaflet marketing. Who said that print marketing was a dying form of customer engagement? The clean-up of marketing lists and customer data will be the perfect opportunity to reach out to new customers, private or B2B.

There is no definitive answer, and for SME’s a unlimited resource or budget for that matter, when it comes to getting “out there.” Digital marketing has made it easier to channel your products and services to an awaiting audience who is actually looking for you.

I can guarantee you won’t get it right straight away, but persistence and the ability to adapt will put you in the best position to move forward and develop your brand.