Read This Before You Decide to Cut Your Digital Marketing Budget

Read This Before You Decide to Cut Your Digital Marketing Budget _ MediaOne

Business are having it rough right now. The economy is slumping, and as one of the business people feeling the pang of it, you may be thinking about cutting your digital marketing budget—a big mistake.

Think about it — you’re just like a ship trying to find its way in the dark sea, and digital marketing is the lighthouse guiding you to safety. Without it, you’d be sailing blind, unsure of where the next wave will take you. So, if you’re considering cutting your digital marketing budget, think again. Your business will thank you for it later. 

We’ve had this conversation with a few of our clients still struggling with the decision to ramp up their digital marketing spend, cut it completely, or just keep chugging along. 

We understand it’s a hard decision to make. It’s like being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea — you’re never sure which way is right.

So, what’s a Business to Do? 

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Evenbound’s president, John Heritage, write an article about this on LinkedIn. He tried to compare two of their clients, each of which made opposing decisions when the Covid-19 pandemic sent the world into a tailspin.

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He was in constant conversation with the two clients., enough to know what each was doing to stay afloat. 

His article gives us a clear idea of what might happen if you pause your digital marketing budget and what could happen if you don’t. 

Let’s take a look at each side of the story.

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You can read the full article here.

The Case Study 

If you’re interested in the actual data and numbers, we suggest you read the article. 

However, if you’re curious about what could happen if you decide to cut your digital marketing budget or continue, this article got you covered.

  • Client #1: Client #1 Chose to Pause their Marketing program until things become clear. They were concerned about their revenue dropping and didn’t want to spend money on what they weren’t sure of. 
  • Client #2: Despite the uncertainties, client #2 continued their marketing program. They saw an opportunity to position themselves in the competitive market and didn’t want to lose that. They felt it would be better to fill up their sales pipelines now and capitalize on the situation.

John points out that both decisions are valid. They’re all based on sound logic, with each client doing what they think is the best for their company. 

The Results

John’s article has the actual data from both clients. It shows that Client #1, the one who cut their digital marketing budget, never gained any market share. They never added leads. Worse, they opened the door for their competitors to beat them. 

Client #2, the one who maintained their budget, saw great results. Although their conversion wasn’t perfect, they were still able to get more leads, sales and increase their market share.

Are You Considering Cutting Down Your Digital Marketing Budget in this Recession?

That’s not a decision to take lightly. It would help to consider what it could mean for your business in the long run. Sure, you might save some money now, but remember, you’ll have a steep mountain to climb if you ever decide to return to the game.

Like client #1, you’ll have to overcompensate for the time you spent dormant in the market by spending more and running more extensive campaigns to fill in the gap.

It’d be like you’re starting from scratch — but with the additional burden of undoing any damage done by missing out on the latest trends or your competitors taking advantage of your time out.

Companies that keep investing in digital marketing during slow times, even a little bit, will maintain their market position, fill their sales pipelines with qualified leads, and win the day in the long run.

Even if you’re not making conversions right now, you’re setting up your sales team to succeed when the economic tide starts turning.

Think of digital marketing like an insurance policy: you don’t want to use it, but if you don’t have it, you could be in a lot of trouble later. 

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So don’t get too discouraged by the unpredictable nature of our current times — take a deep breath, make sure you have the right digital marketing strategy in place, and focus on what you can control.

5 Reasons Not to Cut Your Digital Marketing Budget During this Recession

5 Reasons Not to Cut Your Digital Marketing Budget During this Recession

We’ve shown you two case studies of two companies that made contrarian moves and saw two different results. We’ve also shown why we think it’s a good idea not to kill your digital marketing budget in a recession completely. 

But you’re a business person, and anything that comes from a marketer’s word shouldn’t be taken at face value. After all, there’s a chance we could be trying to sell our services to you, right? 

Good critical thinking could save you from being misled. So here are seven more reasons not to cut your digital marketing budget during an economic downturn:

#1. Search Engine Traffic is on the Rise

The number of internet browsers has increased by 70% since the pandemic started, and many are using search engines to find what they need.

As of this writing, there are 5.16 billion internet users (accounting for about 64.4% of the world population). Good marketing strategies can still attract many users; cutting your budget can limit your reach.

Digital content consumption is also at an all-time high.

If you have great content and the right channels, you can be sure that people will consume it. People are now more likely to spend time on digital content than ever.

Conversions might be low, but that’s not to say people aren’t interested in educational or entertaining content. Cutting your budget means less content and fewer platforms to reach the target audience.

People might not be buying, but the fact that they’re seeing your content and gaining something of value means they’re more likely to buy from you in the future.

If you cut your budget and lose these prospects, you’ll be missing out on potential customers.

The idea is to use this time to create helpful content. By helpful, we mean content that answers some of your ideal customers’ questions, solves their pain points, and makes them feel like experts in their field.

That way, when they’re ready to buy, they’ll remember you as the helpful brand that got them there.

It’s your chance to climb to the top of the list of potential vendors with quality content that informs, educates, answers questions, solves problems, guides, and entertains your audience.

The market is currently competitive, so don’t just sit back and wait for the situation to turn around.

#2. PPC Costs Are Down

The recession has made PPC prices decrease, especially for non-retail businesses. This means you can maximize your ROI with a smaller budget and get more out of your campaigns.

As it stands, the competition isn’t as fierce as before, with fewer companies bidding on some of the popular search terms.

That means there’s an opportunity for you to reconfigure your PPC campaigns for relevant keywords and gain more visibility in the process.

Remember, conversion is still low. So you have to be smart with your targeting and budget decisions. You can’t put all your eggs in one basket, or you’ll be wasting money on campaigns that don’t yield results.

Neil Patel reports his paid ads increased their ROI from 31% to 53%.

That’s a significant ROI, meaning he’s paying less for each click and generating more leads in the process.

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We suggest you examine your paid ad strategy as a whole and focus on two key areas — awareness and decision-making.

Your awareness campaigns should be focused on building brand recognition and driving website traffic, especially on social media. That will help you build a customer base and get people interested in your business offers.

Paid ads that focus on long-tail keywords are good for decision-making. These ads should position your product or service as the best solution to a customer’s problem. This type of campaign will encourage people to take action and purchase your product or service, thus increasing the overall ROI of your digital marketing efforts.

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#3. Digital Marketing is Flexible and Scalable

Digital marketing is as wide as the internet. It’s a highly flexible form of marketing, so you can start small and scale up when needed without investing too much money upfront. If you decide to go big, you can create campaigns that target broad audiences and greater reach.

It’s also comprised of many tactics — social media marketing and engagement, blogging, paid advertising, email marketing, video marketing, and more — so it can be adapted to suit your company’s needs. Plus, you can adjust the strategy according to changing customer behaviours or market conditions.

Some of these tactics are easier to implement and less costly than others, so you don’t have to throw out your entire digital marketing budget if you’re facing financial restrictions. Instead, focus on the most affordable, effective, and easy-to-implement tactics.

If a strategy isn’t working, you can change it. Just make sure you have a good understanding of what isn’t working and why before you invest in any of the strategies. It could be that the approach needs tweaking rather than being completely eliminated.

It flows with your budget-related mantra, but don’t forget: Cutting your digital marketing budget isn’t the only solution. In some cases, it might not even be the best solution.

#4. You Have Time to Make Necessary Improvements 

Yes, sometimes a strategy won’t work out of the gate. And yes, it can be frustrating when you don’t get the desired results immediately. But don’t forget. You have time to make the necessary adjustments and improvements.

During normal days, your marketing, sales, and everyone else will be functioning at full throttle. 

They’ll be busy handling clients, drawing quotes, and much more. There won’t be much time to optimize or improve your digital marketing processes. 

But now, you have the time.

Take this opportunity to get down and dirty with the details. Evaluate what works, what doesn’t, and what could work with a little realignment.

It’s also the perfect time to improve a long-outdated website. You want to leave this crisis with a fresh, upgraded digital face. 

You may also use this time to improve your sales process. Your digital marketing strategy is a great place to start.

You want to begin by setting up a solid sales pipeline with clear visibility, streamlined processes and automated systems.

Don’t forget to improve your sales reps’ ability to respond to warm and hot leads when things pick up. 

You also want to meet your sales and marketing teams and align their digital strategies. See how the two can feed off each other and amplify results.

While you can’t control what’s happening, you can control how you adapt and use it to your advantage.

#5. That’s Your Opportunity to Secure Your Market Position

Now, let’s talk about digital marketing and why you should think twice before cutting your budget.

Your company’s reputation is everything. As long as people know your name and trust your products, you’ll have a steady stream of customers.

Digital marketing helps you nurture your online presence and create meaningful customer relationships.

It’s a powerful tool that can bring in leads, grow your brand, and strengthen relationships with the people who are loyal to you.

But here’s the thing: digital marketing is a long-term investment. It takes time to build momentum and see results. 

This is not the time to slow down, let alone cut your budget.

You have your link-building profile to grow, authority-establishing content to write, and organic growth strategies to implement.

So, while your ultimate goal is to grow your sales, the in-betweens are just as important.

Write educational content pieces, update your website design, and don’t forget to get creative with your social media campaigns.

Trust us. It’s better to keep investing in digital marketing now when you have a chance to secure your spot at the top of search engine rankings than to start all over when the economy rebounds.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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