Back in December 2019, who would’ve thought that we will spend the next year in isolation, away from our family and friends? Did marketing agencies see into the pandemic? Were they prepared? Industries, businesses, and different sectors have predictions for 2020… and good ones at that. Not one of them, of course, ever thought that they’d have to close their doors, transition to e-commerce and virtual meetings, and cut down their budget because their current resources cannot afford to buy ad space anymore.
Most marketing departments of major companies all around the world reported a budget cut of around 44% by mid-2020. But that time, there was still some optimism that the economic impact of COVID-19 will be short-lived. Industries were thinking that spending will bounce back soon, and their consumers will be back on their feet once the vaccines arrived.
But here it is, the vaccines have arrived and economic experts are warning about the economic crisis that will hit globally this year. The worst is far from over. In fact, you might just be seeing the tip of the iceberg. With new variants coming from the United Kingdom and South America, is it only a matter of time before the world shuts down again? But alas, economies can’t afford another lockdown so businesses have to be prudent on how they create their marketing budgets, especially at a time of great competition, rapid technological developments, and changing industry landscapes.
Don’t Waste Your Effort
Testing theories don’t work anymore when it comes to marketing approaches. It is a waste of time to conduct surveys or try to “read” what the market wants. There is a simple solution to reaching the market you want with the right target message. It is through programmatic advertising. It is the real-time automated selling and buying of ad spaces on the internet. An algorithm will determine the winning bid and publish the ad simultaneously, reaching as many of your target audience as you want.
It is a sophisticated and tried-and-tested approach to marketing today. Forget about those hypothetical strategies and focus-group discussions that aim to find out what your audience needs. Today’s marketing is all about automation, artificial intelligence, algorithm, and big data.
Speed Up Your Planning Cycle
Never waste one day without a plan. Since you are working with a limited marketing budget, every day is essential. Don’t miss a day of interaction and engagement. But more than that, set a realistic budget that will allow you to reach different milestones every quarter. List down your annual, quarterly, and monthly goals. Fit the budget into these goals. Make sure you have enough wiggle room.
While many companies are planning big reveals and campaigns, try to make yours smaller in size. Easy and timely campaigns will separate your business from others. Although it is still okay to plan big campaigns, these smaller units will help you gauge market reaction before you fully invest in more expensive campaigns.
Understand Your Priorities
What do you want to happen for your business this year? Do you want more sales or generate more followers on your social media platform? Do you want your website to rank higher on search engines? That is what prioritizing the budget means. There are going to be new approaches in marketing this year. Before you dive into these trends, ask yourself: is this going to help my business reach its goals? If it will not contribute to your overall goals, consider foregoing such trends and focus on your original plans.
Put More Money in Organic Ranking
There is nothing that can beat organic ranking when it comes to marketing. It’s the same with all other types of digital marketing. Increase activities that will invest in organic brand mentions, searches, and placements. Using influencers can help build your brand in the niche you are targeting. At the same time, you should sustain your growing community by interacting with them on digital platforms.
Prioritize these engagements. In a survey, companies said that they will more or less spend the same on influencer marketing and on any form of marketing that will bring them closer to their markets. Make sure to follow the same approach.
Understandably, companies are going to slash their marketing budgets this year. Remember to squeeze as much as you can from these marketing campaigns. While the pandemic is still very much a threat, the world does not end where a public health crisis begins. Businesses must continue to flourish and thrive so that economies can survive and people can go on with their lives. That all begins with marketing.