I come across a variety of real estate firms that have the same (outdated) philosophy of marketing. Companies outside of the real estate industry will relate to this as well.

The market is hot, I’m not focused on marketing right now.

Or, “It’s hard to keep up with demand, why do I need marketing?

Or, “My PR person takes care of my marketing needs when they arise.

Or, my personal favorite, “Our head of purchasing (or IT, or office manager, or anyone on the team who shows the slightest bit of interest in creativity or, conversely, doesn’t get intimidated by it) oversees our marketing.

Know where I’m going with this?

Marketing isn’t a nice-to-have, but a not-really-necessary-at-the-moment part of your business.

Properly thought out, your marketing strategy is what keeps you at the forefront of your industry, in bad times and in good. A dollar spent during high times will save you ten times that amount when the market softens or when your competitive set innovates and leaves you wondering what happened.

To create, fund, and ramp up marketing efforts when things don’t go as planned, companies tend to throw money at the “problem,” while trying to quickly build their brand and drive traffic and sales. It’s not easy or effective, and it requires a much larger “investment” compared to companies who actually invest in their brand at all times – especially when times are good.

The most recognizable brands in the world are devoted marketers and innovators — ALL. THE. TIME. Apple, Nike, Google, Netflix, Disney – can you imagine any of these organizations pulling back marketing efforts during their best cycles? Not a chance! They capitalize on those times to gain even more market share.

Picture surfers riding a giant wave – they see the world from a different perspective. They’re invincible, powerful, on top of their game, ready to take on nature in extraordinary ways. That’s how a company should look at marketing. You capitalize on the waves that come your way and take that energy to generate the most attention and admiration when the going is good.

No one pays attention when you’re paddling!

Let’s try another metaphor. Marketing leaders are like great DJs. They know what to mix for whom (media), when to turn up the volume (spend), what songs to play (campaigns), and how to give the partygoers a great time (brand loyalty). Great DJs don’t turn the music off when the dance floor is hot—they pump up the volume and make it the best party ever.

So who’s manning your DJ booth?