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Marketing communicators are fighting the battle of their careers, trying to defend their budgets amidst the global economic downturn driven by the COVID pandemic.
As any student of the martial art of judo knows, it’s painful and often fruitless to try to resist an attack. It’s more effective to go with the attack but channel and use the attacker’s force to your own advantage, so that you come out on top.
If you’re facing demands for major marcom budget cuts while still trying to reach your brand awareness and market visibility goals, you don’t need to stop communicating.
You need to re-balance your marcom plan, and step up your PR game.
Here are three key reasons to amp up your PR activity in the current downturn:
1. You can maintain visibility while saving money. Because it’s more cost-effective, PR can help you maintain brand awareness and market visibility while you’ve cut high-budget items like auto shows, conference sponsorships and customer entertainment events. If you’ve axed your $500,000 trade show expense, 10 percent of those savings shifted to your PR budget can fund some high-visibility PR projects that will extend reach, frequency and credibility of your messaging and help position your company as a leader.
Most of our automotive and mobility technology clients, over the past 27 years, have actually boosted their PR spending while cutting more expensive promotional activities during business slowdowns, which has made their business (and ours) more resilient and more recession-resistant.
2. Your messaging generates more impact because of a less cluttered, competitive environment. Because your competitors are lying low, you have a less competitive environment. This means your messages are more likely to get through and have unfettered impact on your prospects’ minds.
By reminding your prospects that your company is stable, alive, innovating and thinking long-term, you underscore why your company is a preferred strategic partner that will help its customers succeed over the long haul. You can build prospect confidence by sharing your resiliency and positive vision.
3. You gain share of mind now and share of market later. By communicating now when your competitors are less active, you can make big gains in share of mind with your prospects. This traditionally has proven to translate to increased share of market when your customers resume purchasing.
This grab of share of mind can help you secure the leadership position in your sector, which sets you up for long-term success, because it’s always easier to defend the top of the hill than to fight an uphill battle.
In every economic downturn over the past several decades, independent research has shown time and again: companies that have continued to promote their products and services in tough times have made significant gains in market share when the market recovered.
How much revenue would be generated by even a 1- or 2-point increase in market share over the next three years?
Now is the time to act to win that extra share, when you can do it for pennies on the dollar.
As the judo masters say: By what I did yesterday, I win today.
And by the PR you do today, you win tomorrow.
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