It can be tough to know the right time to market your business. A common mistake of businesses and organizations is to put off marketing until the situation is dire. It might seem like it makes sense to save money on marketing and advertising when business is rolling in, but you don’t want to wait until you’re in a slump and desperately need the business.
Michelle Singer, growth and development strategist here at PDG+creative, says marketing while you’re already doing well is smart for a number of reasons.
One of the biggest reasons you shouldn’t wait until times are desperate, Singer said, is because you can make better decisions.
“People make bad decisions when they’re in desperate need,” she said.
Panic can cause people to offer steep discounts or big promotions that might actually hurt their business in the long run. On the other hand, you can make decisions with confidence and a clear mind when you market during good times.
As with any good marketing plan, you can identify what people like about your business or organization, what they want from you, then promote yourself based on that. It provides better value for your customers, and provides you with peace of mind.
Another reason not to wait is money. It’s easier to allocate part of your budget toward marketing when business is booming, rather than try to scrape something together when times are hard. It’s kind of like not getting your car fixed until you only have a few dollars left in the bank. The chances of running into bigger, more expensive issues only grow the longer you put off routine maintenance. Taking care of your business should be proactive, not reactive.
Singer said if you plan out your marketing budget and needs for the year, you have more leverage to negotiate deals. For instance, if you sign a contract for a year’s worth of TV, radio, internet or newspaper ads, you’ll probably get much better rates. That stretches how far your dollars go across the year, giving you more bang for your buck.
“The more you can buy and commit to, the better the deal and better leverage you have in negotiating the prices,” Singer said.
There are a lot of details for each type of media, which is where professional help can be a lifesaver. A media agency can help you know which media to choose, and can help you read the fine print to know exactly what you’ll be getting.
If you’ve already waited until crunch time, it’s OK! Singer said the most important thing is to not panic.
“Take a deep breath. You don’t want to make desperate decisions,” she said.
She strongly recommends getting a professional media agency (like PDG+creative) to help get you back on track. It might seem like you can’t afford it, but ask yourself if you can afford not to.
“It is worth the money to get some marketing consulting,” she said. “At least get some direction and an assessment.”