Marketing is a vital element to every business’ success and viability. Like other essentials, it needs to be nurtured and more importantly – it requires a commitment – to ensure that a business’ name, brand, and services are continually present where they are most likely to be seen by potential customers.

“Importantly, consumers still spend in recessions, they just spend less, and in the next financial constriction, they will be overwhelmingly driven to businesses with visible and vibrant online reputations.”

One of the biggest mistakes business owners can make is turning off marketing when cash flow is tight. This makes as much sense as throwing the tools away, laying off essential staff, or getting rid of vehicles. Without ensuring a pool of potential future customers, there is little point in keeping the doors open at all. Without marketing, everything else is little more than a wish and a prayer.

In the simplest terms – a business without an online reputation marketing strategy and platform to attract future customers will fail. There’s no two ways about it.

While we may not want to admit it, the signs are already here that some form of economic recession is not that far away. It’s been ten years since the Global Financial Crisis, and if one thing is certain in business – it’s that booms do not last.

Strangely, some business owners forget or ignore the regularity of booms and busts. When times are good and work is flooding in, it’s a natural tendency to assume that that is how things are, but it is a massive mistake.

” . . . without an online reputation, a business is vulnerable – to losing valuable customers and even worse”.

In New Zealand, reputation marketing is not much older than the last recession, but today business owners who do not commit to online reviews are putting their enterprises in jeopardy when consumer confidence dries up to the point that the economy goes into free fall.

Why?

Firstly – over the past decade research has shown that consumers are driven mainly by online reviews, and the percentage of customers who look for online reviews before even considering contacting a business is over 90%. What that means is that without an online reputation, a business is vulnerable – to losing valuable customers and even worse – losing them to competitors who have committed themselves to the unmistakable value of marketing their reputations.

Secondly – when the next recession hits there will be less work, less business, fewer consumers willing to spend money – in other words, a much smaller pool of potential customers.

Importantly, consumers still spend in recessions, they just spend less and in the next financial constriction, they will be overwhelmingly driven to businesses with visible and vibrant online reputations. Consumers do not want to take a punt, they do not want to be taken for a ride, and they do not want to be saddled with substandard work and a terrible experience to go with it. They are increasingly discerning, and authenticated online reviews ticks enough boxes to make them want to pick up the phone and make contact.

So, if you think you’re too busy to market your reputation now, it will be too late to do it when the next recession hits.

NoCowboys is New Zealand’s online reputation marketing platform. Since 2006 they have helped thousands of Kiwi businesses. Contact them by email here.