By Dana Jordan, Publisher, Lake Norman Woman
The coronavirus has put an unprecedented strain on business owners in the Lake Norman area (and the entire nation) as we grapple with its impact not only on the health and well-being of our families and our employees but on our bottom lines as well.
In times of uncertainty like these, our fears can drive our instincts and actions, and fearful of declining revenue, we begin to cut back in various areas. Often, advertising is one of the first items on the chopping block. However, studies going back over a century show that this strategy can actually hurt businesses in the long term. They see a more significant decline in sales and income than businesses that continue to advertise AND studies show that it takes longer for businesses that slash advertising to recover from a crisis in the economy than those that continue to advertise. As a popular adage says,
“When times are good you should advertise. When times are bad you must advertise.”
There are several reasons to advertise during a slowdown:
- Brands can project to consumers the image of stability during challenging times.
- When businesses cut back on their ad spending, the brand loses its “share of mind” with consumers, with the potential of losing current – and possibly future – sales. Not only that, if your competition is cutting back on advertising, it’s the perfect time to advertise, gain “top-of-mind” awareness among consumers, and actually increase your market share.
- Changing the ad message and using short-term price incentives to match the economic climate with consumers who are seeking a good deal can also garner good will in the community and an increase in market share down the road. When the economy bounces back, regular pricing can return.
We know times are tough. And although the natural inclination for advertisers is to cut back on advertising during a recession, those brands that maintain their ad budget and/or change their messaging can get a long-lasting boost in sales and market share.
Perhaps the best quote about advertising in a difficult time came from Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. When asked, “What do you think about a recession?” he responded, “I thought about it and decided not to participate.”
Lake Norman Woman wants to help! We will re-design your ad at no charge if you’d like to give a statement of support to our readers and the Lake Norman community or offer a discount. And we will continue to work for you and with you to get through this. It is your stories that will shine through the uncertainty and unfamiliarity of the world around us and we will continue to share them with our community both in print and online. We are staying stocked at Harris Teeter Grocery stores, as folks are still visiting grocery stores for essentials, and we will continue to deliver the magazine to thousands of homes in the Lake Norman area, as our readers need to hear your powerful stories of hope and accomplishment more than ever.
Perhaps more importantly during this time of social distancing, we’re ramping up our social media efforts, sharing your stories, your advertisements, and your products and services with our audience. If you have something you’d like for us to share, please send to [email protected]. We are also launching a give-away event on social media to keep our audience even more engaged and excited during these trying times. So look for us on online social spaces.
We have a lot of great work in progress that will lead us through the confusion we may be feeling now. Priority #1, though, please take care of yourselves and your families! There isn’t anything more important to us than your health and safety. If you need support, reach out—we are all available by phone and email. We’ve got your backs!
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