It’s a familiar cycle: When recessions hit, marketing budgets often shrink as companies seek to maintain their strong financial position and refocus their attention on operational basics. But as with so many unexpected dynamics during this COVID crisis-caused ‘new normal,’ that typical cycle has been largely disrupted as companies across nearly every sector look to marketing to help maintain their edge in a still-competitive marketplace.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, marketing investments have actually risen as a share of company budgets – from 11.5% to 12.6% since January – as corporations double down on connecting and deepening relationships with their core customers. Unlike in crises past, the risk of reducing a brand’s presence – and therefore losing hard-won mindshare – is seen as outweighing the cost of investment. Or, as Angela Zepeda, Chief Marketing Officer of Hyundai notes, “As soon as you go dark, it’s just a hole to climb back out of.”
While the marketing mix may have changed and traditional media wane in favor of digital channels – as social media and streaming video rising 9.8% and 5.0% in 2020, respectively– the key principle remains: Staying present and connected with audiences through marketing is more important than ever and provides a rich opportunity to strengthen the relationships at the heart of your brand.
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