Last week I had a conversation with a client who told me they were cutting back on their advertising to save money due to the recession.

This concerned me. Companies need advertising. Especially now! This specific client is in the retail industry. In order for them to make money, they need orders. To get orders, they need people to visit their site. To get people to visit their site, they have to advertise their products and services.

It’s been documented multiple times, one of the worst places to cut back when times get tough is advertising. As Harvard Business School professor John A. Quelch notes, “Brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share, and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times.”

Don’t cut back now! Instead, focus on improving your advertising. Start by doing your homework and learn as much as possible about your buyers and how they use the web. For example, use these questions to get started:

  • Who are my buyers?
  • What do they search for?
  • What is important to them related to my product or service?
  • Where do they hang out on the web?
  • Who do they trust?

Use this information to advertise more wisely. For example, if you want to use or refine your pay-per-click advertising strategy, you can:

  1. Create a Google Adwords campaign that targets the specific phrases your buyer is searching for (you learning this while doing your homework).
  2. Write the ad so it talks to them, then drives them to your landing page, NOT THE HOMEPAGE.
  3. On your landing page, communicate to your buyer in their language. Make sure it clearly answers the question(s) they have. Provide a clear call to action.
  4. If your buyers are regional, allow your ads to display only within your market area vs nation wide, saving money.

Look at this situation another way. Your competition has this same opportunity. Surviving a recession is a bit more difficult if you lose market share. And you’re likely to lose market share if you stop or slow down your advertising efforts. Be smart. Gain while you can. When this recession is over, the market share you pickup now will remain. If you need a little help improving your digital advertising campaigns, you can head over to our website to learn a bit more about the services we offer and the results we’ve seen.