“Brexit.” OK, so I’ve said it.
It’s a word many of us have been sick of for some time, but there’s no doubt that it’s a word that’s increasingly being used as an excuse not to spend on comms. In times of uncertainty, decision making slows and businesses postpone investment.
But short-term dithering can lead to long-term damage. So let’s look at how businesses should be planning for the post-Brexit world.
Firstly, it’s important not to assume the worst. While some product categories may be losers in a post-Brexit world, others will benefit, and those that continue to invest will be those that prosper. But even in a market that is badly hit, companies that stop investing will be in a weaker position than their less panicky competitors.
Even if your market is struggling and cost-cutting is unavoidable, it’s important to cut the right costs. Research by Profit Impact of Marketing Strategy into how companies reacted to recessions in the past showed that firms that cut spare capacity, manufacturing and administrative costs tended to do well, while those that cut product quality and NPD underperformed. As did those who cut comms budgets. Research also suggests those that cut comms take longer to recover.
Discounts are not the key to maintaining a profitable brand, but maintaining an emotional bond is crucial. Strong comms is a solid way to keep your brand close to your customer’s hearts, in good times as well as when the going is rocky.
So when you’re asked if you are going to be investing in comms next year. Don’t say; “Brexit”. Say; “definitely”.