Advertising During Difficult Times

Author: Annette Malave, SVP/Insights, RAB

It can’t be said enough – these are extremely unusual and difficult times for everyone. As each day passes, I think it is safe to say that we all hope and look forward to things getting better. They will, but it is just a matter of when.

I am certain that many of you have gone to local businesses in search of certain products or items and looked at the people in those businesses in a way you never had before. They are on the front lines, making sure that we have what we need.

Knowing what businesses are open and available is important to everyone right now. However, it is just as important to the employees that work there as it is to the shopper. While it might seem counterintuitive, advertising during this time is crucial. If businesses advertise, people will shop or take advantage of services now while they are home, and the employees of those businesses will continue to work.

Simply stated, advertising during these times matters, and here are 10 reasons why businesses – large or small – should advertise during difficult times like these.

      1. If you want your business to survive after the downturn, you must advertise. Analyses of businesses and companies that did not advertise during previous recessions revealed that they experienced significant losses post-recession.
      2. It is important to communicate your business product or service. Consumers need to make purchases of common goods and services.
      3. Consumer mindsets shift. What was once important to consumers may have changed. Advertising highlights how your business has adapted to that change.
      4. There is an opportunity to increase “share of voice.” Competitors may cut back their advertising spend, thereby creating a reduction in competitive “noise.”
      5. Businesses can create a positive image. By advertising, it can project to consumers that your business is not only stable but thriving.
      6. Give your brand a facelift. Shifting your brand message can capture the attention of consumers who may not have related to your brand or considered it before.
      7. Develop a plan to target consumers who are looking for ways to save money. During downturns, people are working on their budgets and may try a new business based solely on costs.
      8. You can create goodwill. Advertising doesn’t always have to be just about your business, it can be about your support of the community. People want to buy from and support businesses and organizations that give back.
      9. It boosts morale. Difficult times create anxiety and cutting back advertising will lead to reduced traffic and activity – only adding to that anxiety. Advertising shows faith in your business and its future.
      10. Advertisers matter to their media/marketing partners. The health of an advertiser’s business is just as important to the media partner as it is to the advertiser. Media/marketing partners want to see an advertiser’s continued success.

People want local businesses in their community to continue to thrive and be successful, especially during these times. Advertising can help local businesses keep their doors open. People in the community will support the local business, but first they must know that they are open for business.

Share these 10 reasons with a business owner you know. Looking for a simple one-sheet? RAB members can find one here.


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