During hard times, our first inclination is to cut costs in all areas except with necessities. In business, being financially smart in a downturn can be tricky, especially when it comes to deciding what is a “necessity.” While cutting expenses is necessary, choosing where and when to cut takes some research, practice, and wisdom.

Where many companies make a grave mistake is by cutting their Marketing expenses. A Marketing budget is often large, but if we stay true to the business adage, “You must spend money in order to earn it,” a business can confirm that attracting and keeping customers requires some marketing expenditures.

Most savvy marketers know that, even if you have a strong customer base, you need to inform them of specials and consistently remind them to buy. The great thing about the Web is that it’s really easy and inexpensive to do this via emails and other low-cost forms of online advertising. If they’re a past, current, or potential customer, then they won’t mind being tossed an email once or twice a week (sometimes more) about your current, great sale. People are busy and get a lot emails (we all know!). By reminding customers of what they’re missing, you eventually help facilitate that desired connection, which will in turn, hopefully get you a sale.

It’s just as when I keep calling a potential client I know is really busy until I reach them; Usually, they thank me for my persistence, as their priorities aren’t necessarily reaching out to me, even if they are interested in my services.

One customer of mine (luckily for both of us) understands this concept. Now, more than ever, they are plugging resources into marketing their products, especially on the Web. They are announcing sales, modifying prices, goods, etc., constantly adjusting to the deflation in prices and sales. And they ARE getting bites! They’re online sales are steady.

Another business I know, isn’t that smart. They laid off their Marketing Manager, cut the marketing budget and activities, and aren’t seeing new sales. They slashed prices, but few of their customers know about it and are too busy to check out their site without the encouragement.

So, when you look at that business budget again, reconsider what you’re leaving for Marketing and how you might tap customers cost-effectively but consistently.