Why You Should Never Abandon Your Marketing Efforts During a Crisis

In 2020, we watched as many businesses struggled through the devastation of COVID-19.  Owners struggled to keep their heads above water. Larger companies downsized, jobs were lost, and smaller businesses were forced to close their doors, cut hours, or change their business models. 

And as a marketing agency, we held our breath for what we knew would be the inevitable next step for many organizations…

Budget cuts.  

We know the first thing any organization will do when a large financial crisis strikes is examine the budget. And, one of the first victims brought before the guillotine is almost always marketing spend.

It seems logical. Why put money into marketing when your business is suffering through a lack of customers or a drastic decrease in consumer spend?

In actuality, abandoning marketing efforts and draining the budget to zero is one of the biggest mistakes organizations make during a crisis situation. Why? Because at some point, things will go back to normal, and you’ll be behind. 100 years-worth of research bears this out. Companies that maintained or increased marketing spend through tough economic times ultimately survived the crisis, and in some cases, emerged in a better financial position[1]

Maybe your company isn’t in a position to increase ad or marketing spend right now as a result of the pandemic. You can still adapt your strategy to keep pumping up your brand.

Simple marketing strategies to help you protect your brand and maintain your brand presence

1. Keep Posting on Business Accounts Consistently

It won’t cost you more to remain active on social media. You were there (hopefully) pre-crisis, and you will still be there post-crisis. If your brand has never had a social media presence, we need to have a larger conversation. The point is it’s not going to cost you more money to maintain your social effort. Keep posting. Be authentic, and share your experiences. If your business is having a tough time, talk about it. Stay positive, but it’s ok to be transparent. Honesty humanizes you to your customers and makes you more relatable. Social media is a great way to showcase the human side of your brand.

2. SEO Strategy for Your Business

Do not skimp on SEO. It is so critical to helping people find your business online. Consumers drastically increased the amount of time spent online and online shopping during the pandemic. This trend is continuing into 2021. If you cut SEO spend, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to take advantage of an online consumer-base that’s growing at a steady clip into the new year.

3. Turn to Digital

With regards to marketing efforts, your customers live their lives online. So, you are never going to go wrong investing or reallocating spend to a digital marketing strategy. If you need help adapting your digital strategy through crisis, we’re here for you.

Turning services digital was the number one, greatest pivot that occurred in 2020. Nearly every business had to course correct and find a way to deliver services with a digital mindset. The businesses that invested in digital communications, digital methods of delivery, virtual customer engagement and outreach did very well. 

Organizations that waited to adapt to digital (both services and marketing approach) inevitably struggled to catch up.

4. Watch Your Tone 

A common marketing misstep during any large crisis is an absence of tone. It’s important, for your brand, that you remember this crisis is impacting your consumers too.

Compassion doesn’t cost you more, and it can pay dividends later. 

Contrarily, a lack of compassion or tone deafness can have a devastating, negative impact on your brand. So, you need to be sure your marketing strategy guides you through the crisis with an appropriate tone, measure of compassion, and human approach to your audience.

5. Document the Journey

Amid crisis, brands (particularly small organizations) can feel like they’re in survival mode. But remember, the struggle eventually comes to an end. And, when that time comes and your company is thinking about how to move forward, someone is going to blurt out in the middle of a random marketing meeting, “Did we document any of that?”

So here is our advice to you today. 

You may not have a plan to advertise right now. You may not have a marketing plan for this moment at all. Still, pick up your phone and hit record. Take pictures. Do Facebook Lives. Stay involved in a positive and relevant way and document everything. If you’re not sure how to approach something, send us an email. We’re happy to help. So when the crisis ends (and it will end), you have materials to help construct powerful pieces of creativity. That’s one decision you’ll never regret.

If you’re not sure what content to post, take a look at this (social blog) or schedule a free consultation.

If you liked this Symboliq Media blog, you might also like:

Why Demographics Are Important For Marketing Your Brand

What Does Marketing Look Like Without Cookies?

Share this article:

Randy Blakeslee

Randy Blakeslee

hi! i’m randy! i believe choosing the right team and investing in people is the best thing you can do for your business. i love our team here at Symboliq. together we’ve fostered a positive work place that allows everyone to grow professionally and infuse awesomeness into all our brand partners. we’re low on judgement, high on caffeine, and bursting with creativity. when you come on board with us, you become a member of our family. so be prepared to feel the love.

Related Content

Leave a comment


so you have your website, now how do you get people to see it? by making updates, monitoring keywords, and repeatedly optimizing your site. we will help you navigate this digital landscape and ensure that your dollars are going towards what will help you be seen and heard online.

web design

we help create memorable web experiences for desktop and mobile devices to help your customers find what they’re looking for. using wordpress, woo commerce, shopify, or by creating a custom site, we help create and optimize your site to drive traffic towards profitability and lead generation.

content creation

our team of graphic design designers, copywriters, photographers, and videographers are ready to grab your audience’s attention with customized content optimized to play up the platform. you get intentional images, words and design delivered through the right medium, at the right time, so your brand stands out.

social media

listening and anticipating what’s next from your brand.

our digital marketing specialists are experts in the art of social voice, and our graphic designers craft custom images that speak clearly to your target audience.

brand building

branding is a beast. everyday you’re faced with hundreds of small choices that have the potential to build up, or tear down your brand. that’s a lot of pressure. you need to know what you stand for, and live it out at all media touchpoints, inside your organization and with every audience interaction.


as your new strategic partner, our focus is making sure you’re seen, heard and understood. we’ll create a customized plan for immediate, actionable change that is true to your brand, speaks to your target audience and drives long term growth.