Recession-Proof Your Marketing

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Kristen Luke

The last few weeks have been troubling for Americans. Between the government shutdown and the looming debt-ceiling crisis, there has been a lot of uncertainty about the future of our economy. Our legislators’ brinkmanship is a reminder that there are many things we can’t control. One of those is the economy, which we can’t count on continuing to improve into the foreseeable future. If you are a business owner or a financial advisor whose livelihood is tied to AUM, you need to have a plan for when the next recession hits and your revenue decreases due to client loss or market performance.

You can control the decisions you make about your own business. The choices you make and actions you take today will influence how your business fares following the next market crash. Here are two marketing strategies you can implement now to prepare for the future: committing to marketing and having a plan for communicating during a crisis.

Commit to marketing

The markets have performed well so far in 2013, with the Dow Jones up nearly 20% year-to-date. With this type of organic asset growth, it is easy to start to think the worst years are behind you and you can continue to see growth in your businesses without needing to do any marketing.

But this is a huge mistake. When I started my company, Wealth Management Marketing, in October 2008, many of the advisors I worked with hadn’t done much marketing. While I commend them for spending money on marketing just at the time when their revenue was decreasing, they would have been in a better position had they started marketing in the years prior to the Great Recession.

The lesson here is that there is never a time when it is okay to neglect your marketing. If you aren’t doing any marketing now, start immediately. If you have started, don’t stop. The momentum you build now will help retain clients and bring in new ones during the downtimes. Finally, when you do find yourself in an economic downturn, don’t make the mistake of pulling back on your marketing dollars. Investing in marketing is just as important in the bad times as it is in the good times.