With the events and hospitality industry on its knees, and millions of businesses forced to operate remotely and the economy in decline, the coronavirus has a lot to answer for.

Yet, despite rightful concern, the biggest issue for the business community is mounting fear. Whether that’s fear as to how the virus will impact the health of valued employees or fear as to whether UK businesses will be able to survive these ‘unprecedented’ times.

As a result, many have started to cut costs, pause spend and retreat from day to day operations.

For many, the first budget cut when facing times of adversity is marketing, and for the majority of business owners reading this article, this will come as no surprise. However, doing this makes no sense and here are five reasons why:

1. You always need sales and marketing to run your business

Sales and marketing don’t just drive business growth, they drive business stability. No marketing = no sales, which means that your business will inevitably grind to a halt. The next quarter will undoubtedly be a challenging one, but ‘pulling back for the short term’ will only hurt your business in the long term. Keep pushing for ‘business as usual’ on all fronts, including sales and marketing. Although it may feel like it is not working immediately, it will eventually, and you’ll come out stronger as a result.

2. Your competitors will pull back due to fear

So many of your industry competitors will be withdrawing their marketing spend due to fear. Situations like this provide you with the opportunity to scale and maximise market share. If you’re looking to dominate, hold firm on your marketing budget right now, or even better, look at opportunities to increase your budget in areas where you’re looking to grow or where you’ve previously seen the best results.

3. More people than ever are spending time online

More and more people are searching for news updates, engaging with social media and maximising tools like LinkedIn than ever before. If there has ever been a time to have a strong digital presence, it’s now. Ensure you understand where and what channels your target audiences are currently engaging with, and maximise marketing spend in these core areas.

4. Don’t cut your marketing spend, change your focus

So many businesses will pause or cut marketing spend, without thinking about how they can change their focus first. Your current marketing strategy may not generate the same result at the moment, but instead of panicking, think about what you can do differently, think about how you can innovate and maximise your budget to create a new strategy that will help to maintain growth during this challenging time.

5. It’s time to sink or swim

The coronavirus has certainly presented what is likely to be the biggest challenge of this generation, but if you let the fear of the unknown take over, you will inevitably fail. During the recession of 2008/09, the business sector divided into two. Those who retreated and failed and those who fought back and survived.

Times of adversity provides the opportunity to disrupt, to dominate and to transform your industry sector. This period of uncertainty will not last forever – and those who maintain their marketing budget are far more likely to swim.

Article – Should I reduce my marketing budget due to coronavirus? – by Michael Bush originally posted on Real Business

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