We’ll take it as a given that your P&L has already been reviewed and the things you don’t need have already been trimmed. A crisis is a great opportunity to get lean and only invest in things that matter.
What we want to focus on here are the changes you should make to how you spend money in marketing.
Subscriptions & software
Marketing technology (martech) has exploded in recent years bringing incredible power and automation to smart marketing teams. But I can almost guarantee you’re spending money on martech that doesn’t generate justifiable value. Review these expenses with an eye to value. We are not saying kill martech spend, far from it, it is fundamental that you have the appropriate marketing automation and CRM platform(s). We are saying that virtually every business we audit is paying for some systems and software they don’t use.
For many businesses, bottom of funnel media budgets (money spent on finding people ready to buy right now) are not currently generating a healthy return of advertising spend (ROAS). Consider reducing these budgets for the time being.
But be ready to ramp them up again when demand justifies it.
We’re also seeing budgets being wasted as newly trending, but unprofitable keywords appear. Likewise, we’re seeing budgets being wasted on products or services that can no longer be sold. Review your keywords regularly and be careful with what you’re bidding on.
You should also review your bid modifiers. There’s a very good chance they’re broken. Working from home has changed everything from commuting to lunch breaks to weekends. Depending on your business you’ll need to reassess your
standard busy and quiet times. Likewise, you might find your regional search behaviour has changed. Moreover, we’re seeing a shift away from mobile browsing, so bid adjustments at the device, location and schedule level should all be reviewed.
Beware of media you cannot measure
Media budgets are being cut ruthlessly across many industries. They are also being cut harder in particular forms of media.
We expect to see non-measurable forms of media to be cut more harshly than those where businesses can see the results of their investments. You don’t want to spend on advertising that is ineffective. In truth this can be a challenging thing to measure, particularly when it comes to building awareness for a brand. Regardless, you should critically review any media budgets that are not able to be connected to a KPI that will generate revenue at some stage.
Don’t jump at data shadows
The huge number of people now working from home has caused some major issues in reporting. We’re seeing spikes and troughs just like in the stock market. If possible, don’t make big changes from small data sets. If you’re in the B2B space you will also be seeing unusual results as users who were once behind corporate firewalls are now appearing separately in your reports. Your IP filters are also now gone, which means that internal traffic is no longer being removed from your analytics reports. It’s possible for traffic to be up but conversion rates to have fallen as a result. Review your data carefully before deciding something you’re doing is no longer effective.