The best time to market hard is before you need to do so. I was looking back over my Publisher’s Corner articles from the depths of the “Great Recession” and a number of them were warning not to neglect marketing during the slump. After all, there was less “noise” coming from other agencies and it was a good time to gain market share. The idea was when the economy picked up and the pent-up demand for travel released, clients would remember the agencies who had never stopped marketing. Marketing during bad times allows you to capture market share. Hopefully you took the advice and you are now absolutely swamped with business.
But there is a better time to market: now.
When business is plentiful and you are almost too busy to think about anything other than your “to-do” list, it is easy to put marketing off for some other time. The problem is, naturally, some other time might be smack in the middle of another slump. A good marketing strategy right now would include tactics designed to greatly expand your sphere of influence so when the next slow period arrives, you will have a larger group of clients to closely market.
I almost marvel at how resilient to current boom in travel bookings is. Neither volcanoes, sky-high air fares, terrorism warnings, ebola, nor Zika, etc seem to be dampening the demand for travel. Yet. Over the years I’ve seen these ups and downs on far too regular a basis to be overly optimistic about longevity.
I’m not trying to throw water on good times. I am recommending, however, you not put off the important business of spending some portion of every day planing your strategy and marketing consistently. Typically our efforts have a lag time between execution and fulfillment, shorter in good times and longer in weak periods.
Too often we treat marketing as an on-again/off-again exercise: we only market when business slows down and we need the income. The better strategy, however, encompasses a consistent and constant marketing mindset, one that is always looking to enhance and increase your sphere of influence in your community. During tough times we wisely market close to our existing client base. Now we should be investing some portion of our income in smart marketing outreach to a wider audience.
It’s true a rising tide floats all boats. It’s equally true to remain afloat during slow times requires marketing in advance. Here is one of my articles written during tougher times. I would give the same recommendations today.
Now, get to work.