Successful SMB Habit #7: Maintain Marketing Budgets During a Difficult Economy
What do marketers need to know and do in order to be successful in a tough economy?
The goal of our recent study with Forrester was to determine just that. How are SMBs in the U.S. responding to the current economic environment? Have recent economic conditions forced changes in their business practices?
Several factors that emerged from this study demonstrate why some companies are growing, despite a challenging economic climate, while others are under-performing. We call these factors the “7 Marketing Habits of Successful SMBs.” They provide key insights into what’s working for Top Performing small and medium-sized businesses, and what’s causing others to be left behind.
Habit #7: Maintain marketing budgets during a difficult economy.
Although the gut reaction during an economic downturn may be to reduce spending, according to the survey, Top Performers (SMBs exceeding their own revenue goals) were far less likely to reduce spending during the current economic downturn.
1/3 of Top Performers reduced their marketing budget
56% of Bottom Performers reduced their marketing budget
Top Performers were also more likely to take advantage of an increased pool of qualified applicants during an economic downturn:
1/3 of Top Performers increased hiring
15% of Bottom Performers increased hiring
Although it may seem logical to reduce spending during a particularly challenging economic time, our study shows that it’s important to at a minimum maintain marketing budgets – and there are repercussions to slashing budgets. Companies that drop their marketing spending:
Risk slower growth
Provide a pathway for competitors to gain market share
While businesses have been theoretically aware of the risks of decreasing marketing budgets, the results of our study with Forrester illustrates that many continue to pull back in a sour economy, the result of which can be substandard growth and even decline.
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