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Tina’s Brexit Backlash: Why Market Your Business During Times of Economic Uncertainty?

Posted on 10-01-17 by Tina Clough

In the wake of Brexit, I heard an interesting quote which led me to write the following post…..

“Everything that happens is a small part of our journey. We can choose to be passive, or we can be proactive and overcome our fears, set our own goals and do the best to reach them. For better or for worse, we always have a choice.” Giorgio Pautrie.

Now Giorgio Pautrie may have a lot to answer for – partly because I am about to bend your ear about marketing during times of hardship, but also because he has a serious point!

Times of economic uncertainty can be tough on businesses regardless of size. Staff can lose their jobs, companies get wound up and the lucky ones take the losses from their cash reserves. Thankfully, we haven’t felt any backlash from Brexit thus far, and the market remains optimistic. Despite this, start ups and SME’s can make the most of their agility and see such economic climates as a big business opportunity. Some of the worlds’ greatest businesses began during a recession, and this includes a business closer to home – Poppy PR!

Poppy PR began during one of the worst recessions ever experienced back in 2010, and although it is not something that I wish to endure a second time, we did survive it, and I put this success and our own business survival down to one key business element….MARKETING.

Now, I understand that you are probably thinking ‘you would say that Tina, you own a PR agency’, but the facts speak for themselves. According to Millward Brown, the research power behind great brands, ‘A great deal of evidence suggests that it’s not a good idea to reduce marketing spend during a recession in order to hit financial targets. Doing so may leave your brand in a less competitive position when the economy recovers.’

An analysis of the Profit Impact of Marketing Strategies (PIMS) database, which compared the results achieved by companies that increased, maintained, and reduced marketing spend during a recession, found that during the recovery, the ‘spenders’ achieved significantly higher return on capital, and gained an additional 1.3 percentage points of the market share. Ever wondered why Coca Cola still invests heavily on advertising and marketing, especially at Christmas? Every man and his dog knows what Coca Cola is, BUT its competitors (Pepsi, 7up, Lilt), are rarely seen to invest in such activity, thus making them virtually invisible to the consumer away from the supermarket shelves. Coca Cola realises that when its competitors fade away, it becomes the ‘go-to’ soft drinks brand – a clever but a witty tactic employed by one the world’s biggest brands.

The same applies to the new business start up, or SME. During times of uncertainty the marketing axe gets swung from a great height and directors hit the panic button, making cuts to the one area of the business which could save their bacon- MARKETING.

Marketing professor Patti Williams, makes some interesting points, which add backbone to this debate. According to Patti, ‘Value is another important message to build into marketing campaigns during a downturn. Many marketers design communications aimed at justifying the price they charge for goods and services, either by emphasising a low price or touting the benefits the company can provide to buyers.

Advertisers will do both’ she says. ‘Some are in a better position to talk about lower costs while others will have to focus on what you get for your money.’

With so many different marketing options available, if you stop marketing your brand, how do you attempt to attract new business?!

Poppy PR is moving with the times, and with an official rebrand on the cards for September and a brand new website, the agency will be launching a full portfolio of marketing services including web design, branding, newsletter design and production, a press photography services, email marketing, and even full bespoke marketing plans. Contact Poppy PR for a chat over a coffee about your marketing strategy, and remember – ‘We can choose to be passive, or we can be proactive and overcome our fears!’