Not So Happy Sequester Day

capitol hillIt’s not often that political issues come into play in the world of content marketing. But today there’s an issue that you will find completely unavoidable online, offline, and on your social media networks. Brace yourself for plenty of political arguments and bickering over Twitter and Facebook. Beside those trivial reactions, the sequester that is set to go into play today is a real problem that could affect the economy.

Midnight Tonight?

As Chris Good reports for ABC News, “President Obama will be required to order sequestration into effect before midnight Friday night.” That is unless a miracle last-minute deal can be reached by politicians in Washington, the country is facing $85 billion in cuts across the board.

The entire idea of the sequester was put in place to force compromise in Washington. Now it’s looking less and less likely that that will happen. Both parties are in shock that their plan didn’t work. The cuts will hit, as Chris writes “most government programs… including both defense and nondefense spending.”

What Does it Mean for Online Business?

You might be wondering, “what does this mean for me?” Well, it could mean a lot. If the hit to the economy from these cuts is bad, consumers will be pressed even harder than they already are. This could mean consumers spend less on goods and products in the future. Almost every major news source is reporting on how the sequester certainly isn’t good for many public services provided by the government or through the states by government funding.

In fact, Steven C. Johnson and Jason Lange at the Chicago Tribune report that “the International Monetary Fund warns that the cutbacks could knock at least 0.5 percentage points off U.S. economic growth this year and slow the global economy.” That’s no good for anyone, businesses, agencies and consumers alike.

A Possible Silver Lining?

If the cuts do hurt the economy, you can expect businesses and consumers to change their patterns of spending and what they do in their leisure time. I don’t think it’s far-fetched to think that people will be spending more and more time online looking for deals and looking for entertainment or simple communication over social media.

If that happens or not, it’s still going to be just as vital for businesses to keep up a strong marketing campaign online to reach customers and incentivize them to become a part of their brand or (even better) to become paying customers for whatever product you offer.

Online marketing is a lot cheaper and more effective than running traditional advertising and marketing campaigns. It’s a lot more accessible for consumers as well. If consumers and then businesses start tightening their belts, they are going to be looking for the best ways to get the most out of their marketing dollars and they’ll also be looking for the best agencies that can help them.

Hopefully Washington Comes Through

There are still plenty of hours left in the day, and hopefully Washington can come up with a solution to this problem before midnight so that the country can continue its recovery and growth without being tied down. Everyone wants a compromise. Regardless, keep an eye out on Twitter and Facebook for the news throughout the day. It’s going to be an interesting day on social media.

Is your business making plans for the sequester?


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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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