Being in marketing, I know specifically first-hand that when a company goes under, or when it is trying to cut costs, the marketing department is “usually” (and I say this loosely) the first of several departments to go first. I understand some of the reasons why, and I know that some of those reasons that I have gathered from my former employers and managers are that companies need to keep the workers that do between 65-80% of the work for said companies to stay afloat. That I definitely understand and do know that work has to be done to be able to generate as much positive ROI as possible. I also don’t want to assume that ALL marketing employees will be let go during a company crisis. But let’s take this reason to a whole new level, shall we?
I’m not going to pretend that I know how each company operates. But I do want to put my 2 cents on why marketing should be more in the focus of a business in the midst of layoffs and/or other economic factors.
- Your brand is everything. While there are millions of brands out there, only a select handful of brands can pull off taking out its marketing without sacrificing (too much) its business and revenue. Assuming that the brand is strong enough, and the products/services are strong enough, it can be a business/management decision to cut marketing to offset costs. But how many brands are that powerful enough to withstand economic backlash and minimized brand exposure, especially when market share is on the line? When your brand and products are on the line, you’ll need more firepower to boost your exposure, and savvy marketing strategies will help put you in different niches that you may not possibly account for.
- What you have to offer needs as much exposure as it does being developed/refined. In an ever-changing market, particularly referring to online markets, it gets tougher to generate consistent positive exposure and revenue due to the abundance (and growing) of platforms, mediums, and avenues to expose a product/service. Marketing nowadays requires more technology and tech knowledge, better and more guerillla-based savviness to appeal to customers, and continuous knowledge of best practices and best methods to engage customers with your brand.
- Economic factors in brand exposure results in (sometimes desperate) measures. That applies to revenue, budget, and resources. But that’s where you need marketing a lot more than ever, because while products can carry themselves, brand exposure (especially for those that do not have a strong brand power) will need more savvy marketing to be able to get their message/company/brand/products across. Granted that revenue/cash flow will determine amount of marketing, it still is vital to sustain efforts to put your company out there.
Every company is different just as much as every industry and niche is different. Nevertheless, marketing practices should be considered as part of the overall health and stability of the company, even moreso in an internet-based environment. Budgets don’t have to be large to conduct key marketing initiatives, since a lot of guerilla marketing, SMM, and SEO/SEM are free and/or cheap. The key is time and patience, and ultimately positioning.