To survive in business your must market and sell. Having a guerrilla marketing budget in place, and adhered to, can be your competitive edge when you are starting out. When one is one a tight budget, or are trying to market during a recession, having a guerrilla marketing budget is even more important.

Marketing is the necessary and vital business process of creating desire and moving products and/or services into the hands of consumers. Manufacturing cannot achieve that all on its own. Accounting surely cannot achieve that on their own. Nor does multiple board meetings produce that very type of result. Only intelligent branding and marketing can create desire and thus move profitable amounts of products and/or services into the hands of eager customers.

To lower the value, importance and the role of branding and marketing as an “expense”, is what opens the door for too many businesses to cease the very actions that keep their businesses afloat. All small business branding marketing strategies that create that desire and thus keep sales moving are:

  • A comprehensive, written strategy
  • An adequate budget

I often tell my clients, “I manage two of the most important elements in branding and marketing: strategies and budgets.”

Case in point. When Eisenhower landed in France for the D-Day invasion, did he have a strategy? Most certainly. Was the armed forces supported by logistics, an infrastructure and a budget? He practically had a blank check from Congress with millions of Americans at home buying war bonds. Eisenhower’s success was built upon a strategy that was well supported by a consistent budget. Without either, Hitler would have ruled for many more years.

Unfortunately, too many business people tend to cut their guerrilla marketing budget in a knee-jerk reaction when they encounter financial strain. Yet, cutting back on your marketing efforts is the last thing you should be doing when economic storms are approaching. Intelligent promotion, effectively and consistently executed, is your best path out of any financial stress. Research has proven conclusively, that those companies who increase marketing during hard times expand far in excess of their competitors when the economy eventually makes an upswing.

Guerrilla Marketing Budget During Recessions & Tough Times

A McGraw-Hill research study of over 600 businesses showed that during the early 1980’s recession, businesses that increased their ad spending had, by 1985, witnessed a 256% growth in sales over companies that had cut back on advertising.

The opposite is true as well. In 2002, a year of economic expansion, 80% of the businesses that increased their marketing budgets had no gain in market share. This is because practically every business and brand increases their marketing budgets during economic expansion. In other words, keeping a steady marketing budget when others cut down is a short-term struggle with a long-term benefit.

While the above statistics are counter-intuitive to how businesses traditionally manage a marketing budget, it is important to note that opportunity exists when other brands are pulling back and hunkering down for the storm. This is the exact time where power brands seize opportunity as their competitors begin to abandon their marketing initiatives.

“When economic hard times loom, we tend to retreat to our village. Look for cozy hearth-and-home family scenes in advertising to replace images of extreme sports, adventure and rugged individualism. Zany humor and appeals on the basis of fear are out.” – Harvard Business Review

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