The Truth about Marketing in an Economic Downturn

Henry Ford once said: “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who ...

Henry Ford once said: “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” Stopping a watch to save time does just the opposite, it wastes time. I think we can all agree on that… If you quit marketing your product, you spend less but you also receive less.

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If you don’t know me, I’m Alex. While I am a racecar driver, I’m inherently a marketer, too. Sometimes if a stranger asks in passing “What do you for a living?” I’ll just respond “I’m in marketing.” Essentially, it’d truthful and I do more marketing than racing. While a lot of drivers have a team of folks that chase the sponsorship funding for them, I’m a one-man-show and do it all myself. From crew shirts, car designs, wraps, social media, and yes, the funding; I really am a one-man-show and have to be efficient and proficient in all areas of the spectrum.

As everyone’s aware and probably going to be reading this from home, the Coronavirus pandemic has really knocked the economy off its rocker and what are we doing about it? Many people and companies aren’t really planning too far ahead, they are just being Reactive instead of Proactive.

Of course there’s a balance and I realize we don’t know exactly when the world will be normal again but as a business that functions off of profits, the goal is to sell their products or services to obtain those profits. I’ll be honest here, I work every single day to acquire new partners, new products to use and represent, but as of this point in the Covid-19 plague, I can’t even get a sponsored spark plug or lug nut.

Let’s ask a loaded question here: Why do we advertise? The most common response would be, “To drive sales, conversion, create website traffic, make the phones ring… etc.” While all of those are true, those answers skip the first step. Businesses advertise because they don’t have a network of their own, period. Let’s say “Brand X” has a product line they are trying to promote and sell, what do they do? They call the media outlets (websites, magazines, radio, billboards, etc) to help get their word out, right? They pay these outlets for this service because “Brand X” doesn’t have the ability to it on their own.
Here’s where I’m about to make all this connect:

Because there’s a pandemic, an economical crash, does that mean the first move is to pull advertising budgets? It’s definitely the trend, but why? It’s like their giving up when it’s the most important and most impactful time to advertise. This is a very a dog-eat-dog statement, but while the competition is down, RISE UP! They need to be the one to keep their names and products visible, support those advertising outlets that have supported their businesses for so long. After all of these companies pull their budgets from (just to give it a name) “Mr. Media”, guess what happens, “Mr. Media” dies. Those networks that these companies have relied on to support the distribution of their message, they’ll all be gone. Then what? They’ll get to start from square-one and slowly, painfully try to rebuild while their competitor that was Proactive obtains the market. There’s tons of data that proves it’s important to still advertise in an economic downtown. In fact, there’s plenty of data available on ol’ World Wide Web that show companies that continued to advertise outgrew their competitors.

It’s tough times right now and everyone is suffering. But the companies that think it’s a good idea to pull their marketing budgets first and foremost, their just unplugging their lifeline.

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