The outbreak of COVID-19 has undoubtedly caused a lot of worry, stress and pressure upon the nation. The fear of the unknown has led to many companies making abrupt changes and decisions. It’s without question that right at this moment in time, the future feels quite uncertain and blurry, and as a result budgets might be in the firing line for neglect.

But there is one budget and focus that you must protect and keep at the forefront of your mind to avoid long-term damage to your business. Marketing.

Marketing is so much more than selling a product or service, it’s the voice of your brand, the relationship you build with your audience and the presence of your brand. Whilst other parts of the business might face struggles or set-backs, investing in your marketing efforts will help sustain those key relationships and potential new prospects.

But why? What makes marketing so important for a business?

1. Your efforts will keep you front of mind
By not promoting your messaging or relevant content, people are not able to recognise your brand or your service offering. It’s important to think long-term, taking your foot off the pedal means that your brand presence will deteriorate and this could take months or even years to build up again. By sharing engaging content across your marketing channels, your brand stays at the forefront of your customers and prospects’ minds and may even reach a wider audience.

Did you know? “A study by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising found that when businesses reduced their marketing by 50% for a portion of time during a recession, it then took them almost 3 years to recover the brand equity they forfeited to competitors.” (Source: Spin Influence).

2. Digital presence is key
Keeping up your presence online is vital and in some instances can have very little cost against it. Being digital first makes you a force to be reckoned with. Everything is online now and especially during a crisis such as the outbreak of COVID-19, consumers are spending so much more of their time online. If you haven’t got a digital presence or one that you are confident in, allow this time to focus your efforts into building one and one that you are proud of.

Digital marketing can be made up of a number of channels, from email marketing, website and content to social media, there’s no right or wrong answer for which you should be focusing on. This can be purely dependent upon your business’s focus and who your audience is. Social media marketing is of course huge and one form of digital marketing that we believe should always be prioritised. It's an efficient, low cost option for reaching out to a large scale audience and building relationships. According to HubSport, 71% of consumers who have had a good social media experience with a brand, are likely to recommend to others.

3. Stay ahead of your competitors
Imagine your competitors put their marketing efforts to a standstill, but you continue your momentum. What could this mean for you? Well, an audience might become more engaged with your brand over their own usual go-to choice.

The important focus is, you do not want your brand to fade into the background, whilst your competitors accelerate their efforts. Limiting your efforts whilst your competitors up their game poses some serious risks.

4. Showcase your strengths
Business might not feel like it’s booming for some, but what you cannot lose during a crisis are your strengths and unique selling points. Showcase your niche, whether that be your expert knowledge on a particular subject area, your creative efforts or unique offering.

If your audience, customers and prospects can see that your business is still able to communicate proactively and creatively during a disjointed time, you’ll automatically build trust, interest and loyalty.

At CCM, our creative and marketing team love to share their knowledge with others. Our hand-picked, well-trained, innovative marketing professionals are passionate about helping brands deliver top class marketing campaigns across a wide range of channels. If you’re in need of some inspiration, guidance and support, contact a member of our team today - we would love to hear from you.