Business is Good, Business is Bad … When to Advertise and How

Old Restaurant Sign

The “when” is easy to answer. Always. This isn’t as obvious as it sounds because in practice, most businesses start marketing and advertising when they start up and then one single thing always happens that makes them stop …


It can be change for the better, or for the worse. But that change usually becomes the new focus. It’s either “Oh wow, we have all these orders to fill” or it’s “Oh no, things aren’t going as planned. We have to make some cuts”.

To keep a good thing rolling forward or to turn around a bad situation, you have to keep some focus on your marketing and advertising and translate all of it into sales. Here’s how to approach your advertising based on your situation …

1. Build your brand. Things are going great. You’ve got more business than you can handle so there’s no use wasting money on marketing right? Wrong. This is the time to build your brand.

When you build your brand you get customers coming to you. They’re coming to you because they know you and trust your brand. And when people are coming to you; when they want what you have, it’s a lot easier to charge more and increase your margins.

2. Refocus your pitch. It’s easy to throw marketing dollars out into the world and not generate any sales. If you need more sales and your marketing isn’t doing the trick it’s a simple matter of “evolve or die”.

Look at who you’re advertising to. Where you’re advertising. How far removed is your advertising … how long does it take and how many steps are there between your pitching point and ringing in the sale? Is your pitch timely? Relevant? Does it grab attention? Does it make an offer people can’t refuse? Keep changing your pitch until it works.

3. Scale back everything else. When business is down, one of the first things that often gets cut is the marketing budget. Every department gets a haircut. But if your advertising is bringing in whatever sales a down market will allow you, then it makes more sense to keep it up and trim everywhere else.

Look at cutting all your expenses outside of sales. Renegotiate your purchasing costs. Scale back your production and your production staff – or see who you can repurpose and move into sales. If you can cut back your operations to a level that your sales in the current market can pay for, you can ride out the downturn or buy some time to restrategize your whole business. But if you cut back on advertising and marketing, the result is even lower sales.

Your advertising, your marketing, and your salespeople have one job. To pay for everything. In good times and bad.

And that never changes.

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