Tag Archives: marketing budget

Stop wasting marketing dollars and start getting creative

To get a clear picture of how much money marketers waste each week all most people have to do is simply take out the trash.

Every week marketers send out thousands upon thousands of pieces of direct mail. If they’re lucky, some will get a quick second look by their recipients before they end up in the garbage or recycling bin. Along with the money, marketers time and effort are also being taken out with the trash.

When most people find direct mail in their inboxes, the immediately classify it as “junk” and quickly dispose of it. To really catch your audience’s attention, you have to find a creative way to get noticed and make people take a second look.

Because we all receive multiple pieces of junk mail daily, it takes a truly creative approach to stand out from the crowd. Will V. at The Better Response Blog recently tacked the issue and shared some ingenious examples of direct marketing that isn’t a waste of money.

Two dollar bill DM campaign, The Better Response Blog

Two dollar bill DM campaign, The Better Response Blog

The first example is of a piece by the Seattle Art Museum to promote the Life Liberty and Pusuit of Happiness exhibit. The marketing piece took the form of a two dollar bill, something most people don’t see everyday. Will admitted he’d likely read it before throwing it away. At least it’s a step up from landing directly in the trash, without so much as a slight glance.

“The point I am trying to make is we should always try to create a piece that no one else is creating. Part of marketing is to stand out and not be typical. Being typical will not catch any attention and is a waste of money. This may be a thought that is always in the back of our minds, but we don’t always factor it into our marketing initiatives,” Will says.

Will showed another good example of a direct mail campaign that not only stood out from the crowd, but was “highly personalized.” As part of a sensory-based direct mail campaign, Proximity London crafted a letter made entirely out of chocolate. Yes, real chocolate.

I don’t know about you, but receiving a chocolate letter in the mail would catch my attention close to 100% of the time. Before I devoured it, you could bet that I would also be spreading the message and showing the piece to everyone in the office.

We’re not expecting you to go out and print your next direct mail piece on chocolate, but if you do just make sure I’m on the mailing list. What we’re saying is that it’s time to start getting really creative with your marketing.

“Do not send out postcards because your competitors are sending out postcards. Send out something you know your competitors will not be sending out. Remember, you are not just competing with your competitors’ pieces, but with the 50 gazillion other pieces who are not even from the same industry,” Will adds.

Ask yourself truthfully if you would stop and read what your company is mailing out. If you think it’s going to land in the trash, it’s time to rethink your idea. Stop wasting your marketing dollars and start grabbing people’s attention.

What creative techniques have you used recently in your marketing to grab your audience’s attention? Or, have you been the recipient of a cool piece of direct marketing? Let us know about it …

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Signs of what’s to come? Marketers plan to increase social media spending

Despite the economic recession and marketing budgets being slashed to pieces, almost every social media marketer (95%) plans to maintain or increase social media spending.

Forrester researcher Jeremiah Owyang recently released his study called “Social Media Playtime Is Over,” based on a survey from December of 2008.

Marketers will increase social media spending

Marketers will increase social media spending

Some of his key findings reveal that:

  • More than 50% of interactive marketers plan increases in their social technology spending. Only 5% plan to cut spending.
  • The fastest growing categories include social networking, blogging and user-generated content.
  • Social media spending is small compared to other types of marketing efforts. While the marketers surveyed came from companies with at least 250 people, 75% are still spending $100,000 or less on social technology efforts.

From the report’s executive summary:

These inexpensive tools can quickly get marketing messages out through interactive discussion and rapid word of mouth, and properly managed, can deliver measurable results.

Though you may not have someone in your organization with the title of ‘Social Media Marketer’, the study shows that social media is a strong marketing investment, even when our economy is in the dumps.

Like the report says “Social Media Playtime Is Over,” it’s time to get serious.

Is your company planning to increase spending on social media efforts? Why, why not?

Real-world advice on how to cut business spending

We all know the market is bad and budgets are tighter than ever, so I’ll spare you any depressing stats on the horrible state of our economy.

Instead of sulking over things we can’t control, why not focus on something more productive like getting a handle on how your company is spending money and finding ways to save on day-to-day operations.

A recent article on Entrepreneur.com profiled four smart companies who have refused to “call it quits” and have figured out ways to adapt their business practices without damaging the customer experience.

From toilet paper to free advertising, here’s how these four businesses are saving money and keeping spending down:

  • The Gotham Comedy Club has gone green and found a 10 to 15 percent savings in doing so. As the market has evolved, the quality of green business products has improved and the cost has decreased. Their shift to e-marketing has also helped to cut costs.
  • Spee-Dee Delivery Service almost instantly felt the sting of fuel cost spikes. They turned to education to train drivers on fuel consumption and how it helps the business cut costs. From shutting off engines whenever possible to monitoring drivers’ speed, has helped Spee-Dee to save thousands of dollars a year.
  • Essential Excellence, a virtual assistance and design company, started feeling the effects of the economy long before it was officially a recession. Owner Cortni Marrazzo only shops for office supplies at stores that price match in order to pay the lowest price possible. Instead of meeting clients for lunch, she suggests meeting over coffee. They’re small changes, but have helped her small business save a significant amount of money.
  • Pam Funk, owner of Fir Street Gallery & Gifts, started spending more time working in the store and scheduling the maximum staff during projected busy times. She replaced many of the light bulbs in her store with energy-efficient light bulbs and scheduled when lighting was needed during the day with a timer. By using shades in the summer and natural lighting in the winter to regulate the temperature inside the store, she has reduced her electric bill by 32 percent. She also focused her direct mail efforts on  high-frequency customers and increased subscriptions to her email list.

Read the full article here.

Instead of complaining, use these tough times to reevaluate your spending and find new ways to cut costs. It amy take a few extra minutes to consider a cheaper alternative to what you’re already spending on, but the savings will help your business thrive.

B2B marketing priorities for 2009: What are yours?

In cooperation with direct and relationship marketing firm Babcock and Jenkins, MarketingSherpa recently surveyed B2B marketers for firms with “significant” revenue (more than $250 million), asking:

What are your highest marketing priorities for 2009?

They compared selected priorities and the degree of difficulty they attach to each tactic or goal and put it all in a nifty little chart for all of us to enjoy.

B2B marketing priorities for 2009

B2B marketing priorities for 2009

According to survey results, the two highest priorities for business to business marketers in 2009 are “retention marketing plan/tactics” and “marketing analytics.”

The two go hand in hand and can be expected to rise in importance over the course of the recession. Generating new leads will be very difficult and, for many organizations, success will depend on retention. In turn, marketing analytics will identify what they need, want and find useful and be invaluable in retaining and up-selling existing customers.

Even if you don’t have more than $250 million in the bank, we still want to know what you have planned this year.

What’s your top B2B marketing priority for 2009? How difficult do you expect it will be to achieve it?

Watch out for the most common marketing mistakes during a recession

Roughly 60% of American Marketing Association (AMA) members revealed that the worst mistake marketers can make during an economic slump is halting or reducing spending on key marketing programs, according to an AMA survey.

Other big mistakes include focusing on short-term tactics and sticking to the status quo, according to AMA member marketers.

Over 65% of survey respondents say the slowing economy is having a significant impact on marketing plans, making it a challenge to:

  • Demonstrate the value of marketing in the face of decreasing sales,
  • Reorganize marketing tactics to match changing business objectives, and
  • Focus on long-term marketing strategy.

After analyzing their survey results, the AMA outlined four strategies to help marketers improve their plans and get through the recession:

  1. Shape the message, don’t slash the price. Shape your message to highlight the value of your product or service instead of dropping your prices.
  2. Focus on whom not to target. Refine your target audience and focus on segments that will produce the greatest ROI.
  3. Stand apart from the crowd and invest in innovation. During times of economic uncertainty, marketers are less likely to take any risks on a new product or service. But, investing in research and development now will put your company in a good position when the market turns around.
  4. Sustain the brand. “63% of marketers say they can lessen the impact of a downturn by investing in brand building as part of their marketing plan.”

Fun with links: Social media predictions, business blogging, recession marketing and more

There’s just too much out there right now to write a post on just one, lonely topic. So, I decided to share five small snippets of the latest and greatest information for business to business marketing on the Web, and here it is:

  1. What does 2009 hold for the world of social media and content marketing? Nobody may know for sure, but many, 42 to be exact, have made their predictions. From getting cheap to a backlash against social media, read what the Junta42 Top 42 bloggers have to say about social media in 2009.
  2. Just because you build it, they won’t come. Social media has the potential to bring success to many businesses, but not every company is meant to blog. Read through the 5 musts of business blogging at Drew’s Marketing Minute to find out if blogging is a smart endeavor for your company.
  3. Are you on Twitter? Are you still trying to figure out why you’re there? Whether you’re there or not, people will be praising and complaining about your company with each other on Twitter. Learn how to engage with the Twitter community and win over the hearts of your audience in this post from TwiTip.
  4. Blog marketing could quite possibly be the cheapest form of marketing out there right now. With a blog, there’s no need for expensive print, radio or TV ads and the uncertainty of their effectiveness. Learn why blog marketing is cheap marketing and effective marketing in this recent post by Remarkablogger.
  5. We’re in a recession and things are changing, including how we get our products and services to market. Cutting marketing budgets during a recession may be the worst idea marketers can go through with when tough times hit. During a recession, learn how to market better instead of marketing less in this post from the Marketing Hive.

B2B marketing budgets increase despite recession

Even in the face of an economic recession, almost one-third of business to business marketers plan to increase their 2009 marketing budgets, according to BtoB’s “2009 Marketing Priorities and Plans” survey.

Another 43.5% of marketers plan to keep budgets equal to 2008 and only about one-quarter plan to decrease their marketing budgets next year, according to the online survey of over 200 b-to-b marketing professionals in November.

Among the key findings of the survey:

  • Customer acquisition is the top marketing goal in 2009 for B2B marketers (62.2%)
  • Customer retention was cited by 20.6% of marketers as their top marketing goal, followed by brand awareness (12.4%)
  • 66.5% of marketers plan to increase online spending in 2009

Because online marketing has proven to cost less and delivers trackable results, more b-to-b marketers are moving their marketing dollars online. General Electric Co. is one of those companies, according to BtoB.

“About 15% of our media spend is on digital. In my mind, that is not enough,” said Beth Comstock, senior VP-CMO of GE. “One of my goals is to continue to shift that spend.” GE plans to use online technologies including streaming video, webisodes and rich media ads next year.

The most popular online tactics for business to business marketers next year will be:

  • Email marketing (68.3%)
  • Web site development (66.3%)
  • Search (50.0%)
  • Online video (46.6%)
  • Social media (46.6%)

Social media spending is up more than 20% from 2008.

When it comes to more traditional marketing, the survey found that marketers are making budget cuts on print (33.2%), events (30.5%), direct mail (25.6%) and outdoor advertising (21.3%).

2009 B2B Marketing Priorities and Plans

2009 B2B Marketing Priorities and Plans