Business, like life, moves in cycles.
After seven years of owning my own company, I was recently at a crossroads. Like Tom Hanks at the end of “Castaway”, I had to make a tough choice (one that ended up being pretty easy to make actually).
Last year we started an advertising campaign in a local newspaper for our advertising agency. Not many businesses in our area of specialty actually advertise very much so it was a significant move. A month or so ago, we collectively decided to shift our focus from print to local television. We were in the process of producing our new commercials when we got some bad news.
One of our clients was backing off. Another client was going in a different direction. While plenty of possibilities were in the “pipeline” and some were on the cusp of using our services, we did have several weeks of uncertainty. Should we pull back our advertising initiative?
The thought of discontinuing our advertising did more than cross my mind…It was a serious consideration.
A "Duh" Moment4Me
Then I realized the mistake I was about to make.
Thousands of times over the past three decades, I’ve encouraged businesses to stretch or hold firm their marketing budgets during the rough times for their business. The studies and statistics support this premise and have for decades. Companies holding or expanding their advertising during challenging times actually catapult out of the struggle way ahead of their competition.
It’s not that advertising is the panacea. However, cutting your advertising budget at the first sign of trouble is never - EVER - the best move. It will only make the problems worse. Even though it was the strategy I had pushed for years, I was briefly tempted to pull back during my own business’ challenging few weeks. Once I caught my breath, I knew it wasn’t the right call.
I am convinced moving forward with our campaign was the right decision – not just because I had been pushing this strategy all these years, but because I know from my personal experience it works.
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