Affordable marketing for Lancashire SMEs in lockdown

Most small business owners and managers will instinctively be cutting back on spending wherever they can right now in order to conserve cash and weather the current economic storm caused by the Coronavirus lockdown.

But according to experts at 52M Consulting, marketing budgets should be spared the knife and even increased right now.

It points to evidence from previous world recessions that suggests those businesses which continue to invest in marketing during an economic slowdown are the ones that bounce back fastest, often gaining market share in the process. For instance, during the Amercian recession of the early 1920s, advertising executive Roland S. Vaile tracked the performance of 200 companies. He reported that the ones that had continued to advertise during the downturn were 20% ahead of where they'd been pre-recession, while companies that reduced advertising were still effectively in recession years later, 7% below there 1920 levels.

However, with many businesses choosing to furlough staff, it's possible that even those that want to keep their businesses and brands visible may not find it easy to do so because they will have shed some in-house capability.

"The rules on accessing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are clear: furloughed employees are not permitted to undertake any work for their employers whilst laid off," said Lee Petts, managing director at 52M Consulting.

"This means that even those businesses that recognise the need to stay 'front of mind' amongst their customer and prospect audiences may not be able to do so because their people have all been furloughed and there's nobody left to actually do the work.

"In response to this challenge, we've launched a brand new suite of affordable services called 'Lockdown Leapfrog' that will enable small businesses to outsource their marketing and promotional needs to us on a 'tickover' basis whilst the economy remains on lockdown, with payment deferred for three months to ease pressure on cash flow."

Although the current period of lockdown was initially expected to last three weeks, there are now signs that strict social distancing restrictions may be in place for much longer, with Michael Gove MP telling a recent press conference that society and the economy may need to remain in lockdown for three months.

even those businesses that recognise the need to stay 'front of mind' amongst their customer and prospect audiences may not be able to do so because their people have all been furloughed

"Three weeks of lockdown was probably just about tolerable for most businesses, but three months will be a real struggle. Any business that 'goes dark' for that long risks a much slower and more costly return to 'business as usual' when we finally get past the Coronavirus pandemic. It's vital to stay visible and that's what we're hoping to help Lancashire businesses do."

Lancashire SMEs can find out more and sign-up for Lockdown Leapfrog at www.thinkblackdot.com/lockdownleapfrog

As well as its paid services, 52M Consulting is also helping local firms keep up appearances by including their logos and website links in its regular e-newsletter for free. The bulletin goes out weekly to over 5,500 recipient businesses located in Lancashire. Businesses wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should email theteam@52Mconsulting.com to enquire further.