Mindful Marking and Advertising During an Economic Downturn

Mindful Marking and Advertising During an Economic Downturn

Published by Michelle Haupt on

By Jeff Slater

If you’re considering (or have already started) cutting expenses, think twice before putting your marketing on the chopping block. At the very least use a chisel instead of a battle axe to pare down your marketing budget and weather this economic storm. Make sure your web presence is up-to-date and that you’ve got the basics covered!

Patient Rewards

When the economy turns for the worse, we feel the risk creeping up on our businesses. Maintaining growth and profitability is always Plan A, but when production drops and revenue streams slow to a trickle, many practices must move to Plan B (and sometimes further into the alphabet).

Marketing budgets are often the first to go. While reducing costs in the short term is a logical way to navigate a struggling economy, history tells us that the economy is going to recover. If we’re playing the long game, then building and maintaining a solid brand is one of the best ways to reduce long-term business risk.

Here are some reasons to keep your advertising rolling during a slowdown:

  • Your competitors may be pausing their own advertising, leaving an opening in the marketplace for you to capitalize on.
  • When consumers see you are still advertising, it projects strength and stability.
  • If you stop advertising, you will lose “share of mind” with prospective patients while creating an opportunity for your competition.
  • The cost of advertising often drops during recessions.

History Says to Keep Advertising

There is an old adage in marketing: “When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.” There are numerous studies over the past century showing that advertisers who stayed the course (or increased ad spend) during a recession grew their sales and market share.

Kellogg’s introduced Rice Krispies and then took over the market during the Great Depression. How did this happen? The company that was dominating ready-to-eat cereal, Post, cut back its advertising while Kellogg’s doubled its own ad spend. Snap, Crackle, and Pop never looked back. The momentum you build now can even carry you for years after the markets recover.

If you put your marketing on pause, it may take a while to regain momentum when you resume – however long from now that is. The effects will accumulate like a gradual snowfall, soft and benign at first, but piling significant weight on you and your business. You could be digging yourself out for a while!

Continue Adding Reviews and Social Posts

Don’t neglect your Google Business Profile or your social media channels. Consumers are spending more time than ever online. When your prospective patients go online to research orthodontics, you have an opportunity to impress them. Make sure you have the essentials:

  • An engaging website that converts visitors and also has great SEO to satisfy Google’s ranking algorithm.
  • Verified Google Business Profile that is fully optimized with business info, scheduling links, products, and services.
  • Recent Google reviews that give “social proof” that members of the community are benefitting from your services.
  • Active social media channels that show your practice is modern, authentic, and fun.

If you are able to invest in your marketing in this economic climate, there is an opportunity for strong and lasting ROI. If you are in more of a budget crunch, then you should focus on the free channels (Google Business Profile and social media) to continue growing your online presence and engaging your prospective patients.

Jeff Slater is a Digital Marketing Director at Kaleidoscope. He is a local business expert with more than 10 years of experience in online marketing, SEO, website development, reputation management, Google Maps, and digital advertising for orthodontics.