How to Approach Marketing and Advertising Budgets in a Soft Market

Oil Prices are Affecting the Canadian Market; Things are Tight. 

Business owners and finance leaders faced with the threat of a softening economy commonly look to tighten up the purse strings and cut back on discretionary spending. Marketing and advertising budgets are frequently the first casualties to a ‘soft market’.

The Saskatchewan economy specifically has been impacted recently with a decrease in the oil prices, the softening of the housing market, and the low Canadian dollar. CBC reported on falling oil prices that every dollar oil falls represents a loss of approximately $18 million to the provincial treasury.

How should a company or organization approach their marketing spending in times of financial challenge?  When things get soft, what is the best action to take?

1. Do Not Panic.

The first reaction to a slowed market with less consumer dollars being spent on a product or service is to panic. Instead of a fear based reaction it is important to see that this is not a roadblock. It is an opportunity. Rally the forces together because when things slow down its proactive companies who continue to build momentum in their business. Take a quick breath, and carpe diem (seize the day!).

2. Resist the Urge to Cut Marketing Dollars.

When things get tight and marketing budgets are constrained the two places spending gets cut are in advertising and consulting. This is absolutely the wrong reaction. When things get tight, advertising and consulting are the places where spending should be increased.

Many businesses make the mistake of pumping money into marketing when times are good and sales are strong. The return on investment, however, is sometimes not achieved because production capacity or inventory availability have already been maximized.

When you really need sales to achieve your financial goals, you need to make sure your customers know your business and your product. As the market slows and your competition cuts their operational costs and reduces their customer visibility, your opportunity to increase market share increases.

3. Increase Spending on Business Consulting and Marketing.

As stated above, now is the time to go for it. Do you have an amazing product or service? Get the word out! Leverage the things that are amazing about your company or service. Generate great content, create an online shopping component on your website, improve your visuals. Do whatever it takes, whether traditional or innovative, and push, push, push.

4. Enjoy the Benefit of Greater Marketing Influence.

When you push your marketing and advertising efforts in a period of softness you will have greater influence. When things are good, and you and all of your competitors are pushing their own products or services, there are less eyes to focus on your efforts. There is more noise.

When things get tight and a company moves forward through the storm, reach is expanded because your target audience has less stimulation.

If you want to have a competitive advantage when the market gets soft, stay calm and propel your product or service forward. You will gain traffic and traction, and make sales.



If you have something great to say or do, get the word out there. Do not let a softened market deter you from propelling you company forward. Don’t panic – infuse your budget.

If you need help, Look is here. We provide consultative services. Our team of experts provide everything from consultations, business advising, content strategy, web design, and beautiful creative to back up our plans. We are a full-scale marketing and advertising firm and we can meet needs big and small.

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