Want Your Competitors To Love You?
Want Your Competition To Love You? Stop Advertising.
I've been having conversations with readers of this weekly screed. It's disappointing (and no surprise) to see a recurring theme.
Business owners have stopped advertising.
More than one media salesperson is bemoaning an "immediacy mentality over a marketing mindset." (Credit to Debra Carpenter at Michigan's Joy 99 for that gem.)
The familiar refrain: Business owners can't understand why they should advertise.
Business is slow, inventory is scarce, people are staying home, things are locked down--name an excuse.
History keeps showing us the power of advertising when things are bad.
It's the power of thriving versus dying.
Authoritative sources are always showing that benefits of advertising in a downturn.
"But my budget! I have no revenue!"
And without advertising, where is more revenue going to come from?
We have a friend who owns a remodeling business. When the 2008 recession hit, he was leveraged to the teeth.
He also knew: stop advertising, and he would never recover.
So he was resourceful. He kept finding creative ways to keep the marketing tap open and flowing.
His main competitor did not.
Our friend's business is now huge. It's a juggernaut.
His competitor never recovered.
Freight train, a supertanker, or marathon runner?
Pick your marketing metaphor. It's about momentum and the long haul.
When your business stops advertising, your customers forget you.
Advertising is about keeping your brand in motion. Keeping it rolling. Keeping it afloat. Keeping it running.
Stop the momentum, and getting back to speed is difficult.
"But what if I can't afford to do it?"
Better question: Can you afford not to?
The overused word of our time is "pivot." Everyone's pivoting like ballerinas on meth. Yay, pivoting!
Despite the overuse of the word, pivoting is about survival, from the macro to the micro, from the economy to the solopreneur.
Pivot. Swivel. Revolve. Spin. Swing. Whatever your metaphorical verb, find a way do it. Work on a way to keep advertising.
"I can't afford it!" is reactive thinking. "How can I afford it?" is proactive wisdom.
And understand how to be effective.
Being effective means being evocative.
Your brand is the fuel that informs the emotion of your message. If you don't understand your brand, it's time to change that.
For proof of the power of advertising in a downturn, don't take my word. Google "advertising in a recession."
The first hit should be a great article from Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2009/04/how-to-market-in-a-downturn-2
After that comes a parade of intel on doing the smart thing.
Keep running your marathon, do it with wisdom, and you will beat the runners who quit.
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Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.