Release: Marketing cuts fatal to business warns CIM Wales
Marketing cuts could prove fatal to business, warns CIM Wales
- Cutting marketing budgets during a crisis can have long-term negative impact on business, says managing director of Cardiff-based digital marketing agency, Liberty
- Online CIM event explores shifts in lockdown consumer habits and what marketers can learn from them
- Five key takeaways for marketers to help entice shoppers back in-store
Retailers slashing marketing budgets and entering into price wars in a bid to lure customers back in store are making a fatal mistake, warns Gareth Morgan, founder and managing director of Cardiff-based digital marketing agency Liberty.
Speaking at a recent webinar hosted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing Wales (CIM) Wales, Morgan addressed how consumer needs, habits and purchasing behaviours have changed since the start of the pandemic and stressed the importance of managing data out there and keeping websites relevant in a post-COVID world.
“Cutting marketing budgets during times of crisis or recession can have a big long-term impact on your business, said Morgan. Most people are happy for brands to advertise like they did before lockdown, so if you stopped your activity because it didn’t feel right, then it’s ok to open things up again.
“Many of the big spenders have paused their marketing or furloughed those responsible for spotting opportunities in digital advertising, so now is a great time for Welsh businesses to compete with their national and international rivals to grab market share.”
A surge in online shopping means some industries have reported rapid growth while others have experienced record losses. For many retail marketers, re-building pre-pandemic footfall is the biggest professional challenge they have ever faced.
While visual aspects of marketing are important for reinvigorating sales, CIM Wales chair, Dr Gavin Davies insists data and trend analysis should be given equal attention; allowing businesses to make smarter decisions crucial in the current climate.
“Marketing is of course important for driving sales, getting customers back in store, and generating enquiries said Davies. But managing marketing isn't just about visual elements such as advertising and promotions, it encompasses everything from data to trend analysis.
“Dashboarding tools like Google Data Studio monitor huge amounts of data and can help you understand what your target customers are doing differently.”
Drawing on data from some of Liberty’s leading clients, including high street brands Pizza Express and Crew Clothing Company, Morgan explained how consumers’ digital behaviour is likely to change again in the medium to long-term.
“People aren’t as price conscious as they were pre-pandemic. If you have availability and reliable delivery, then you can lead with those messages, you don’t have to be the cheapest to win customers from rivals.
“It’s important to make sure your Local SEO and Google My Business listings are supporting efforts. Google has implemented a ‘COVID updates’ section that businesses can use to inform customers of current changes to things like opening hours, delivery and take-away options, delays to services and online alternatives to physical events.”
“We’re seeing a number of retailers offer in-store exclusives or discounts that only apply in person, so utilising digital marketing channels to detail how your business is managing footfall and observing social distancing guidance will help give customers peace of mind.”
Key take-aways for marketers:
- Cutting marketing budgets during a crisis or a recession can have a big long-term impact, so be aware of this before you stop advertising
- If you paused your marketing activity because it didn’t feel right to advertise during lock down, now is the time to start up again
- Use dashboarding tools like Google Data Studio to monitor the huge amounts of data available that can tell you what your target customers are doing differently
- People are not as price conscious now as they were in March. If you have availability and reliable delivery, lead with those messages rather than trying to be the cheapest option
- B2B messaging can be a lot less formal now, so it’s a good time to review your brand guidelines and the content you produce.
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