To me this seems short sighted because it’s marketing that can significantly generate sales or leads.
If you are measuring your marketing returns, assuming there is a positive ROI in your campaigns, then increasing the budget may lead to further positive results. Surely, slashing budgets will decrease the return.
Now, if you are not measuring marketing, then I would agree it probably seems like a black hole for your money, and there is a good argument to reduce budgets and headcount.
Not all areas of marketing can be measured effectively, but a great deal can.
As marketers, our job is not to worry about the economy heading south, but to devise tactical changes to take advantage of the current situation. As long we know which direction the economy is going then we can do something about it.
In tough times, the marketers decision is to determine how best to use your budgets: which campaigns perform the best, which campaigns are losing money, which new channels could I initiate right now to boost sales to fight the downward economy.
The great thing about marketing is that you can test campaigns on small budgets and then scale if they are working – this minimises any loses.
Let’s revert to the old adage of marketing about 'The Right Message, To The Right Audience at The Right Time’.
The message can be creative and compelling, but is very dependent on your business offering. Changing messages to accommodate the downward economy can be very profitable because messages can be tested and tweaked until a very positive result is generated.
The ‘Right Time’ can be managed by constant communication through lead nurturing techniques. (Perhaps another blog post about lead nurturing and data at a later date would give this topic justice.)
Data quality isn’t just about cleansing, it’s about having quality data that helps your business perform. Communicating with the ‘Right Audience’ is essential, otherwise the message is being delivered to the wrong person and is simply a waste of time and money.
In a downward economy, focus on
- Your existing clients for up-sell or cross-sell opportunities; then focus on
- Your target audience.
This is where the majority of the revenues will come from.
On my next blog post I will run through how to create a target universe so you can be fully prepared.