How to thrive during uncertain times

In recent months and more strongly the last week, discussion and corners around COVID-19 have taken over our community and the rest of the world. 

While this time might be disruptive to your business plans to hold events, roll out campaigns or launch a new product, it is important to remain calm and consider shifting your focus into altering and fine tuning your marketing and communications goals. 

Now is more of an important time than ever to take a step back and make smart decisions to ensure your business is continuing to remain profitable. While you should always be making measured and evaluated decisions about how to spend your marketing and advertising budget, now is not a time to become fearful of declining revenue and cutting back your advertising spend. 

“When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.”

There have been a number of studies that go back over one century that clearly indicate the importance of continuing or even consider increasing ad spend during a weaker economy. 

In a study out of the US around recessions, McGraw-Hill analyzed 600 companies and found that “business-to-business firms that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth, both during the recession and for the following three years, than those that eliminated or decreased advertising.” A follow up study in 1985 fund that companies that were aggressive in their advertising approach, sales had risen 256% over those that didn’t maintain advertising spend.

More recently, in 2009 Amazon sales grew by 28% during the “great recession” as the tech company continued to innovate with new products during the economy slump. Read more about other brands that benefitted by maintaining their ad spend during economic weakness.

Here are some reasons to continue investing in ad spend during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Break through the clutter: for a small island, Cayman is constantly boasting fantastic events! And while it is disheartening for so many businesses (including us) to have been forced to cancel upcoming events, there is less advertising campaigns in place. Now is a great time to reposition your brand or to launch a new product, without having to fight with other messages. 
  2. Show your audience you care: take the opportunity to show your consumers the important measures you are taking to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and the care you are taking to keep Cayman safe. Taking this approach will bolster a company’s image and spread important messages in our community. 
  3. Maintain your market share: when you cut back on ad spend, even during a time of crisis, your consumer’s attention captured by your brand is lost. This can result in losing current and potentially future sales. An increase in ad spend, if presenting the right message, will lead to an increase in market share and profit for your business. 

In conclusion, when everything begins to settle in relation to COVID-19, if you continue your advertising plan and strategy your return on investment will be multiplied. While your competitors might be cutting back, your increased voice will continue to keep your brand front of mind, resulting in future growth and sales for your business for years to come.