How to adjust a marketing budget during inflation

Inflation is here. Everything costs more but customers don’t want to pay more. Sales are down. When money is tight, you have to prioritize better. But if you don’t know the basics of marketing, it’s nearly impossible to know how to prioritize your marketing budget. Below are some insights and strategies to help you stay visible even during tough economic times. 

Do you feel like you’re in survival mode? 

We’ve been here before. Media Relations Agency has helped clients navigate product marketing during the collapse in the late 1990s, the tragedy of September 11, 2001; the great recession spanning 2007 to 2009, and most recently COVID. 

We know what we’re doing.   

Five things you should consider when adjusting your marketing budget

  1. Never stop marketing unless you’re going out of business. Obviously, if you’re bleeding cash, you’ll need to cut things you don’t really want to cut. But any time your competition is somewhere — and you’re not — they’ll get the attention instead of you.
  2. Do what gets you the most leads and most sales. Look at the four promotional channels: advertising, publicity, website and social media. If just one of these is working, just do that. Most businesses need at least one or two good media stories, which can then be repurposed in the other promotional channels. If you have two or three promotional channels performing moderately well, think twice before disappearing entirely from one of those channels. You may just need our help tweaking their frequency to stay within your updated budget.
  3. Know who to trust. (To a hammer, all the world is a nail.) Marketing is very complex. Some pros know a lot about SEO, others focus only on publicity, writing, video editing, digital marketing, website optimization, etc. If you rely on any one marketing person, their natural tendency may be to lead you in the direction they know best. That may not necessarily be what will work best for you. We can walk you through the pros and cons of each marketing channel (step 3 of our time-tested Strategically Aimed Marketing system or SAM 6®).  
  4. Follow a good marketing process. SAM 6 is 100% adaptable to the changing marketing environment, revised budgets and anything else you can throw our way. It ensures that campaigns remain on point. From your audience’s perspective, you are staying strong. 
  5. Keep a close eye on your marketing dashboard. Evaluate how things are working and be willing to adapt to change. To do that as seamlessly as possible, you must understand the scope of product marketing and/or collaborate with a team that has a broad range of marketing talents. 

Any time your money is worth less and you’re getting less for it, you have to be more careful with how you spend it. Now is not the time to make choices about your marketing budget without a clear understanding of the ramifications. 

Call us at 952-697-5269 or use this form to discuss your best options based on all of the essential marketing parameters starting with your product, audience, goals and of course your budget. 


Written by Robin Kocina

Robin Kocina is a proven marketing industry leader who has been instrumental in growing Media Relations Agency, a top performance-based PR agency, from its inception in 1987 to its current status as a successful integrated marketing agency with international clientele and multi-million dollar revenues. As President, Kocina now concentrates her efforts on the agency’s direction and fiscal growth, as well as new business development in the company’s Minnesota and Florida offices. Kocina’s financial acumen is evidenced by her recognition as a Top Women in Finance Circle of Excellence (Finance & Commerce, 2013) as well as Top Women in Finance (Finance & Commerce, 2010). A highly regarded community leader, Kocina believes strongly in sharing her marketing and leadership skills through community service. She served as chairman of the board for Depart Smart. She also serves on the Leadership Board for the National Federation of Independent Business, and actively involved with the Women’s Presidents Organization. She is a past board member and Chairman of the Board for WomenVenture. Robin is the recipient of numerous honors for her leadership and community involvement: Inductee into the Women Business Owners Hall of Fame (2018); Exceptional Businesswoman Award (2016); Volunteer of the Year (Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, 2010); 25 Women to Watch (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 2008); Upsize Lifeline Award (Upsize Magazine, 2008); Standing Ovation Award (Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine, 2006) and Luminary Award (National Association of Women Business Owners, Minnesota Chapter, 2005).

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