Unless you were living under a rock two months ago, there’s a high chance you can remember the panic of Covid-19 arriving in Australia as if it was just yesterday. It appeared as though, in a matter of just one week, businesses were closing their doors to pre-empt their end or under Government instruction. Australian businesses were operating one day, then making quick and easy budget cuts the next; marketing budgets were the first to go, and rightly so. Customers aren’t leaving the house, so what is the point in spending your business’s last pennies on marketing? However, as surprising as it may be, spending your last pennies on marketing, especially digital marketing, is the best thing you can do for your business right now.
We’re telling you this because history has been proven to repeat itself. The world has experienced its fair share of economic downturns, and the businesses who came out on top were the ones who decided to increase their marketing budget during the crisis, while their competitors scaled back on their marketing. We have compiled some examples below:
The Great Depression
The most familiar economic crisis in history; the economic crisis where Kelloggs rose above the ashes. At the time, Kelloggs’ competitor – Post — made the decision to make cuts to their marketing spend and limit their production. Kelloggs chose a different route; pushing their cash into radio advertising, and it paid off. Thanks to The Great Depression, and Kelloggs’ competitor’s decreasing their advertising budget, Kelloggs’ Rice Bubbles became the most popular cereal during and after The Great Depression.
After the Energy Crisis from 1973 to 1975, a 17 month long economic recession followed. The public were looking for any way to spend less money and the automobile industry were expected to focus on fuel efficiency. A government report listed the Toyota Corolla as the second most fuel-efficient imported car, and Toyota took the opportunity to increase their advertising. In 1976, they passed Volkswagen as the top imported car company in the United States.
This one hits a little closer to home. At the height of the Australian recession in 1976, Dick Smith went against the grain and started to advertise his small electronics shop while his competitors resorted to silence. By 1980, Dick Smith was a household and came out of the Australian Recession with millions of new customers who took note of his advertisements.
The 1990-91 recession saw well-known Mcdonalds reduce their advertising budget. In the meantime, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut took their marketing by the horns, increasing their sales by 40% and 60%. Meanwhile, Mcdonalds suffered a 28% decline.
The only difference from these prevalent historic economic crises to today’s global pandemic is that today, all of the world’s marketing is online. We explained why you need digital marketing right now in our blog here. Your digital strategy is more important now than ever. While your competitors are allowing their advertising to take majority of the budget cuts, this is your time to turn to your online audience. If your competitor’s name is nowhere to be found, and yours is all over the internet, who do you think will come out of Covid-19 on top? This is your time to reach people who wouldn’t normally engage with your brand when they are so caught up with your competitors.
A recent study also found digital ad rates are at their lowest since 2016. Cost Per Clicks are down 30% and SEO activity has dropped, allowing businesses to move their way up the Google Search ladder. Ride the wave of Covid-19 by taking advantage of cheaper advertising rates and implementing digital marketing; in turn you could be thanking Covid-19 in years to come when your business becomes the next household name.