Even the most forward-thinking companies don’t have the resources to endure a long crisis. On the other hand, halting one’s marketing efforts, especially digital marketing, might result in catastrophic consequences for your business. The fact of the matter is that the COVID-19 pandemic has the entire world in crisis mode, and the end is not yet in sight.
Over 70% of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines were forced to temporarily close down their operations, according to research by the Asian Development Bank. Other businesses are still fighting in order to stay afloat by expanding their products and services and recalibrating their company strategy regularly.
On a lighter note, however, a survey by SAP and Oxford Economics found that 88% of Philippine small businesses remain optimistic about their growth within the next three years. 79% of local MSMEs invested in digital transformation in order to optimize operations while their workforce is working from home.
In short, companies are cutting their losses, tightening their belts, and making smart decisions in order to stay relevant in the new normal, but how can businesses maximize their marketing budget amid a crisis?
Recalibrate your financial plan to face the new normal
The truth is that the marketing plan (and budget) you had at the beginning of the year is no longer relevant. Even if your company was able to hit its target in the first quarter, the market has grown more conservative with their spending habits, their behaviors have changed, and in turn, these modifications may affect your business’s performance.
In a crisis situation that is subject to rapid change such as the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses need a proactive plan in order to adjust and adapt how they lead their workforce, speak to their target market, and manage their offerings, according to Gartner, a leading research and advisory company.
While it is important to cut losses and divert some funds to operational costs, it is not smart for companies to forgo their marketing efforts. Why? The truth is that there is still a demand among Filipinos for advertising in the new normal.
However, there is a need to revisit one’s messaging in order to make an impact, win over more people’s hearts, and in turn, get a share of the market’s wallets. People are more dependent on digital platforms now more than ever, and companies should take advantage of this change in market behavior.
Optimize your marketing performance
Impressions don’t always translate into sales. The competition in the digital space is tough, and there are a lot of distractions that may make your audience forget about your brand. Thus, it is important for companies to make the moments you do have your target market’s attention count. In order to maximize your company’s budget, brands need to consider channel choice as well as the benefits of channel synergies as per Kantar, the world’s leading data, insights, and consulting company.
With a better understanding of one’s market comes better decision making in order to make every peso spent on marketing efforts count amid the pandemic. That is the key to creating content that leverages emerging behavior patterns in order to resonate, and in turn, convert the audience to paying customers. In line with this, all marketing decisions should be driven by data. Data, after all, is grounded on facts.
Invest in what works and increase experimentation
By analyzing your current marketing performance can you gauge which channels are your winning tactics or the platforms which contribute to the most sales to your company. It is important to invest in those channels even more in order to optimize their ROIs. Through this analysis, businesses have a better chance of understanding which strategies don’t work for them as well. It’s best to minimize funding for those channels.
With your remaining budget, you should combat stagnation by running regular marketing experiments. Through this tactic, you might find more opportunities to reach your target market efficiently. Researchers from the Harvard Business Review found that allocating 10% of their marketing budget is typical among companies with a successful experimentation program, and making that conservative investment might lead the company to sales growth.
These are some of the tactics companies should consider in order to optimize their marketing budget amid the ongoing crisis. However, one day, the COVID-19 pandemic will end, and inasmuch as companies should be agile to face the challenges of today, it is important for businesses to think long term.
Someday, there will be a cure or vaccine, and the world will have a better semblance of ‘normal’ once again. Businesses will have better opportunities to recover from the losses incurred amid the crisis, and as the old saying goes, everything will be alright.
Even so, companies that fail to pivot to the challenges of the new normal might not see the light of day. In the meantime, the proliferation of digital transformation has brought about many opportunities for brands to make an impact in the virtual space. That is why companies should invest in a digital marketing partner that will help maximize their budget.
Eight Media empowers entrepreneurs and businesses across the country in understanding their customers better. Our team can help you optimize your marketing tactics and future-proof your company through data-driven decisions today. To help recalibrate your digital marketing efforts in the new normal, get in touch with us now.