Is now a good time to decrease my ad budget?

Written by Courtney Raguso, Social Media Content Creator

It is the right time to decrease my ad budget?

The short answer is no… but we’re not here for the short answer. In fact, we’re here to explain why this global pandemic is a crucial time to keep your ad budget stronger than ever! The crisis has affected every industry across every sector, including digital, and many businesses have decided to pull back and decrease budget spending over economic uncertainties.  Although it might seem like a good idea to save for whatever might be ahead, cutting back on your budget too much during uncertain times could actually hurt your brand and its financials in the long run. Now is the time to strategize and not let panic drive our decision making. 

So why shouldn’t you cut spending on advertising? To start, a recent study has shown 92% of consumers still believe that brands should continue advertising as they normally would, while 8% said that now is not the time to keep advertising. Now that doesn’t mean you should be pushing your products down consumers’ throats. The game has changed, and so should your strategy. Instead of looking where to cut back, focus on what’s driving a return on investment and look for opportunities. Before we talk about opportunities, realize that conversions are not the main focus here. Now you might be asking yourself “why would I invest in marketing and advertising if no one is spending money?” Conversion rates are declining for e-commerce brands, however, that doesn’t mean you should stop marketing to consumers. Remember, there is a right and wrong way to do this!

What matters here is the long-term goal. If you want to come out ahead of the game, you will have to stop putting short-term profit first and use this time to facilitate greater reach and even long term growth. Right now, your campaigns might not get as many conversions as you’d like, but that’s temporary. The point in doing this is not to make sales, but to build your brand and engage with people, to improve your brand image and make connections. In the end, being proactive will give you a head start from some of your competitors. It will save you from increased financial burden and build future potential business. With advertising rates being at an all-time low, opportunities arise and taking advantage of them will be critical to your financial recovery from the pandemic. 


Digital traffic is at an all-time high.

The first and probably most obvious factor to consider is the amount of people online. Self-isolation and social distancing is causing many to turn to social media for connection and entertainment. It is also forcing many businesses to operate and work from home. A larger audience leads to more impressions and a higher capacity for ads to reach your target audience, which in turn lowers operating costs for your campaign in the long run. With the world watching, now is the time to build your brand awareness and put yourself out there.

Many of your competitors are dropping out… for now.

Although usage is up, demands are decreasing for advertising. The virus has left many businesses in fear, including those who are unable to operate or are working to simply maintain their operations. Social media platforms such as Facebook have reported a considerable drop in the demand for advertising, and the cost for 1000 impressions fell 20% this past month, including 22% for Instagram and 20% for YouTube. With many businesses putting a hold on their campaigns or are canceling them all together,  your shared customer base will be ripe for the taking.  

We have the time to adapt and innovate.

As we have said before, it’s important to consider how your brand’s messaging will be perceived by the audience. Look at your target audience and how their lives have changed. Strategize a campaign that is relevant and offers them something of value. Instead of just pushing your product, now is the chance to be authentic, get to really know your audience and contribute to the greater good. Doing this will improve your brand image, and consumers will start to have a positive association with your brand. 

Advertising costs have never been cheaper. 

Rates in ad auctions have decreased considerably due to pull-backs on spending, creating an ideal buyer’s market for brands. Platforms including Facebook, Google and YouTube have all experienced nearly a 20% drop in ad rates since the virus hit. Recently, however, both ad performance and prices seem to be inching back up. Not all businesses are cutting their spending on advertising, and some are even increasing their digital investments to compensate for the leads they otherwise would have picked up at events. However, research indicates that most marketers are making the mistake of altering their short-term strategy, instead of making long-term changes, which only counts for 9%. Sometimes it’s best not to follow the crowd. 

Right now, having an online presence has never been more critical for your business. Cutting spending on advertising and digital efforts will only temporarily save you money. In the long-run, your brand will lose relevance with consumers, possible future sales and might even be forgotten. Research going back nearly one century shows that maintaining or even increasing ad budgets can grow sales and market share during and even after a recession. It’s easy to cut back on advertising during a recession, but always remember to stay top of mind, stay relevant, and continue to look for opportunities to innovate and grow your business. 

At MSM DesignZ, we are focused on bringing out the best in your brand. This is not an easy time, and staying afloat can be difficult enough for a business. That’s why we are here to help! We value the importance of strategy and focus on driving long-term success. With over 20 years under our belts, we know what works and what doesn’t. From design and budget planning to knowing the right time and place to advertise, we can drive results that make a real difference for your brand. We are assisting in all areas for our clients. Visit our contact page at, and we’ll work with you to devise a custom plan that will keep your brand alive and well. We look forward to working with you!