South African businesses must continue to advertise if they want to survive and grow in the future.
This is especially true during economic downturns, such as the one brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and national lockdown.
The need for businesses to continue to promote themselves during tough times is well documented, including in a report by leading business publication the Harvard Business Review.
Its report looked at what companies must to do survive during a downturn, and then position themselves for growth once the market picks up.
Marketing and advertising were key – and the report warned against simply cutting all marketing budgets when times get hard.
“Marketing expenditures are often slashed across the board – but such indiscriminate cost cutting is a mistake,” said the Harvard Business Review.
“Marketing isn’t optional – it’s a good cost, essential to bringing in revenues from key customers.”
Only spend money on advertising that works
In managing an advertising budget, however, businesses must “take care to distinguish between the necessary and the wasteful”, added the report.
“Tough times provide an imperative to cut loose poor performers and eliminate low-yield tactics.”
“When survival is at stake, it is easier to get companywide buy-in for revising marketing strategies and reallocating investments.”
Besides the revenue benefits that good advertising delivers, the report added that building and maintaining a strong brand remains one of the best ways to reduce business risk.
Online advertising – The best return on investment
The best way to get the maximum return on your budget is to advertise online.
Online advertising gives South African businesses the best return on investment per rand spent, as confirmed by Nielsen’s Media ROI Benchmarks report.
Online advertising easily outperforms TV, Print, Cinema, Radio, and Billboard/Outdoor advertising channels, stated the report.