The economy has without a doubt left a bad taste in the mouth (and wallet) of many business owners, and a fair number have indicated that they will reduce their marketing budgets just to save some money and continue surviving. I personally feel that this should be done as a last resort only, because marketing is what drives customers to your business, and customers are what drive growth, and ultimately survival.
Not everyone is going this route to save on expenses. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has made available some data collected by 1,200 attendees to its Master of Marketing Conference held back in October. The data looks at where marketers are planning to take their strategies in the foreseeable future – 2009.
27% of attendees said that they actually intend to spend more on marketing in the coming year. That’s only slightly less than the 33% who said they would reduce spending. BUT, the same number (an additional 33%) said that their spending would remain constant, and that they would merely be reallocating their marketing mix.
Mixing it Up
That means that businesses are perhaps being more cautious and observant of their own marketing strategies (this might lead to a nice boom in business for the web analytics industry). It really brings up a good point. The economic downturn that many companies are facing is providing a wake-up call for maximization of marketing results. In other words, more businesses need to step up testing of different marketing methods. Find out which ones are proving successful and which ones are wasting dollars.
It also means targeted advertising is probably going to play an even bigger role, because highly targeted campaigns tend to be more relevant to consumers, and are perhaps more likely to drive them to the advertised business. Targeted advertising is a big part of online methods like search engine advertising, and email marketing. Although with targeted platforms from social networks like MySpace and Facebook, I wouldn’t rule out social media either.
For more on the ANA study and its implications of social media marketing practices, read my coverage at WebProNews.