Personally, I am still debating whether I consider the current economic slump a recession or just a media-created frenzy around a hot “emotional” topic for a mass audience during a big year in politics. But beyond my personal debate, there is certainly a feeling in the business markets that a downturn has or will occur and therefore many marketing departments are reconsidering their budget allocations. A concept I find particularly interesting to explore but off topic for this post.
MarketingSherpa released an excellent survey providing some insights about how marketers are managing in the downturn. The twenty some page executive briefing (free for a short period of time) is titled, “Marketing During a Downtown: Part 1 – 10 Insights Into How Marketers Are Handling the Slump” uncovers some excellent points. Hurry though because normally the free download ends after ten days and it was originally posted on April 2nd.
One general point I found interesting was that many marketers are planning on cutting their “branding” budgets to re-allocate to their direct marketing budgets. I don’t fully understand the point but then I believe brand-building – sustainable brand preferences – occurs after a product or service is used and a positive experience (a truly memorable experience) is realized. Therefore direct marketing always makes sense since it focuses on getting people to take action in using the product or service. One specific quote from a marketer stated, “Direct marketing is more measurable and trackable in terms of ROI.” Why shouldn’t that be important all year long whether upturn or downturn?
Unfortunately I cannot recall the source but I did read this week that many companies are moving more marketing dollars online – mostly in PPC and some in display. I have also heard from some SEM companies that they are generating a lot of new leads. If these companies can generate “conversions” for their new clients then they should be able to keep the clients during good and bad times.
Check out the MarketingSherpa report – it’s good perspective for the current environment.