For many businesses it has been a slow start to the year, grappling with a mix of inflation, high interest rates, and dwindling customer confidence. In uncertain times, sales and revenue take a hit, triggering a wave of panic among key stakeholders. And unfortunately, the knee-jerk response for many is to cut costs – with marketing often bearing the brunt.

To effectively support our brands across diverse markets, we equip clients with the skills to thrive in an ever-evolving marketplace. We encourage them to strategically invest, especially in challenging times. From data-driven insights, omni-channel integration and training programmes, our services help create a community of brand advocates that make a significant impact on their sales.

Investing not cutting marketing spend

At Channel Assist, we have witnessed this trend firsthand. Faced with financial pressures, businesses often see their marketing expenditure as dispensable and relegate it to the bottom of their priority list. If you’re considering reducing or cutting your marketing budget, 

It’s important to recognise the risks associated with this decision. 

When sales are on the decline and consumer confidence is at an all-time low, we would ask: 

Why would you want to diminish your efforts in communicating the value of your offerings to your customers? 

After all, effective marketing is the lifeline that differentiates you from your competitors in the crowded landscape.

History has shown us the downfalls of underestimating the importance of marketing. There have been instances where companies have paid a hefty price for slashing their marketing budgets, only to watch a savvy competitor steal their spotlight. Take, for example, a major electronic brand that scaled back its marketing efforts, only to be outshone by a newcomer that invested heavily in promotional activities, ultimately claiming the coveted number one spot in the market.

Declining sales at a slower rate than competitors

Some would argue, “what would happen if you continue to invest in marketing and your sales still go down?” This might well happen, but what if they don’t go down as much as your competitors. You are still picking up market share. The number of sales is not necessarily the key measurement, it is the quality and profitability of those sales.

Importance of measuring sales outcomes

At Channel Assist, we insist on measuring sales outcomes, always. And that makes us and our clients very resilient. With effective measurement and reporting capabilities, results can be fed back to all key stakeholders in the business. And if and when, the time arises where marketing are told that their budgets are going to be cut, they can use the data to defend themselves.

Companies that use an outsourced field sales team should be getting sales measurements as a fundamental part of their service. Whilst some provide measurements on the number of positive interactions and the number of people that have viewed a brand, this is not actually measuring the sales outcome. The way that our field sales teams work is to use contextual data. This gives them the ability to always compare an area which is being supported and one that isn’t. Channel Assist expects performance from supported territories from our Field Sales teams to be in the region of 59%+ versus unsupported regions for new brands and categories.

When times are bad: Invest

When the going gets tough, don’t cut costs – invest! Contrary to popular belief, tough economic times present an opportunity to seize the moment rather than hunker down. While competitors are playing it safe, it is the best time to invest for when things pick up. It’s like a race where everyone else is slowing down at the curve, but you’re hitting the accelerator, zooming ahead and grabbing that coveted market share.  If you are willing to cut something, was it worth any value in the first place? 

2024 – the year for realising opportunities

In conclusion, while it may be tempting to tighten the purse strings during tough economic times, cutting marketing spend can prove to be a risky gamble. Instead of succumbing to short-term cost-cutting measures, forward-thinking brands should consider investing strategically in their marketing efforts to maintain their competitive edge and secure long-term success in the ever-evolving marketplace

Despite a slow start to 2024, we can see the opportunities for success in the year ahead. If you’re interested in exploring how we can work together in the coming year and would like to realise some of these opportunities with our team, please get in touch at hello@channelassist.co.uk

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Outsourced Field Sales Team

Channel Assist provide outstanding, integrated field sales and merchandising services. We help our clients to make measurable difference to the performance of their brands and products.

Channel Assist Ltd, Portland House, Westfield Road, Pitstone, LU7 9GU

01494 240170

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