We recently shared some examples through history of companies that performed great in economic downturns, and the main takeaway was… wait for it… they kept marketing. But what about a different scenario? What if you’re managing growth in business while also aiming to reduce marketing costs? Or what if you’re at capacity with the amount of orders or projects you can adequately handle, after being forced by recent events to lay off team members or make other cuts? Well, there are no one-size-fits-all advertising tips we can give you, but here are some things to consider.
Start with a quality check
One of the worst things that happens when you overcommit to customers is your quality starts to slip. It’s not usually a big dramatic event like packages getting shipped with confetti inside instead of your product, but typically more subtle. Maybe you send the wrong invoice to a customer, then one of your team members starts to doze off on the job because you have everyone working overtime. If something doesn’t change, these seemingly minor issues can snowball until your new norm is fielding angry calls from customers all day.
Long before this happens, check in with yourself. If you’re feeling pressure to perform but are starting to see some cracks in quality, pause your advertising. Take a short pause (like one month), just to catch your breath and reassess your capacity. Plan to resume again in a month, given that you’ve gotten quality back under control and are ready to take on more. If quality is still high and there are no signs of problems, however, keep the ads going.
Who is getting your “yes?”
The coronavirus pandemic has made everybody rethink their business models and how they’re spending money. In fact, a survey of almost 900 marketers by Marketing Week and Econsultancy found that 55% have postponed or are reviewing ad campaigns, while 60% are cutting or reviewing budgets. It might be true that you simply can’t keep up with your current demand, given your resources, and have decided to stop advertising.
First, remember this won’t last forever. Although you will be impacted, any changes you make now should be able to be reversed at a later date, when some semblance of normalcy resumes. Second, think about who is getting your “yes” and who is getting your “no.” If you can only service half of your customer base right now, try to retain the customers who have been with you the longest and make up the biggest portion of your revenue. If you stick with these customers, you have more of a fighting chance to stay in business for the long haul and get back to servicing everyone down the road.
If you do have to say no to some customers due to a lack of capacity, consider other ways to help them out. Is there a partner of yours who could be your pinch hitter and provide similar services on a temporary basis? Could you give the customer partial services, and plan to resume fully in a few months? Is there a way they could use other products for now, and you offer them a discount to start back with you a year from now? There are a lot of ways to get creative with this, but just remember to be human, be honest and give whatever value you possibly can.
Take it to technology
Last, but not least, one of the best advertising tips we can give you is to use automation and tech to relieve your burdens. If you use Google Ads, for example, there’s something called a capacity controller script. You can set it for a maximum number of conversions, meaning it will stop delivering your ads once you reach that point. You can also set it to automatically re-enable paused ads at midnight so you can resume your advertising the next day. This is a great way to continue advertising, while proactively ensuring you won’t max out your capacity.
These are strange times, and we all need to do what’s best for our businesses in order to keep the doors open and keep our customers happy. If you’d like help figuring out what this means for you in the context of your advertising, we’d love to chat. Call us anytime.