When times are lean, businesses often cut their marketing budgets. The grim news is 65% of marketers expect negative effects on marketing overall. And they expect the affects will be long term – with 75% expecting it to last into 2010. Some predict layoffs (25%) and falling salaries (43%). 17% believe they will face both layoffs and a pay cut.
So what are marketers doing? They are moving from traditional advertising to online marketing. That’s what we’ve heard for a while, but now marketers are moving budgets to online even faster than before. According to MarketingProfs the majority are spending more online (though I think it should be even higher).
“MarketingProfs has observed that online marketing is also turning into a venue where marketers can stretch their dollar while accurately targeting leads and customers. 60% of all marketers surveyed stressed that they would be increasing their online budgets while 85% would be reducing their use of traditional marketing vehicles.”
Note that almost everyone said they were reducing their traditional marketing budget. That may be wise for some businesses, depending on the industry. However, cutting budgets may not be such a good idea for everyone. The last thing you want to do when people are uneasy, is to go silent or cut back on communication. You may need to adjust your messages but it may be a better idea to increase marketing rather than react by pulling back.
Here are some benefits to increasing or at least maintaining marketing campaigns in leaner times:
- Since publishers are having a more difficult time selling ad space, there are more opportunities for bargains. You can pay less for prime advertising space.
- If your competitors are slashing budgets while you hold or increase yours, you’re business is likely to come up on top when the recession ends. Want proof? Look at this history lesson.
I think this sums it up best:
I’m disgusted by the doom and gloom stories that make it seem like everyone is hurting because I don’t think it helps our mindset. There are many businesses that are thriving (including online marketing firms like OrangeSoda where I work).
I make it a point to ask clients how they are being affected. Most are positive. While parts of their business may be suffering, there are often other parts that are picking up. This creates a great opportunity to publicize what’s going well – a marketing opportunity to tell your story.
When things are going badly I want to hear success stories even more. So I wonder, how is your business adjusting? Are you cutting, holding steady, or increasing your marketing? Are you shifting your focus to online over traditional marketing?