Tag Archives: marketing on a budget

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.

The power of branding, a lesson from Rodeo Drive

It’s hard to imaging spending $300 on one pair of jeans, let alone spending that kind of money on denim when our country is in a recession. But, designer jean companies have figured out how to keep selling their high-ticket items and thrive during the downturn.

While most wouldn’t put designer jeans and training products into the same category, they do have one thing in common – they’re both viewed as nonessential items when tough times hit. Training and development is often one of the first places companies look to cut when under financial stress.

Like training programs, when consumers start to feel the pinch it means cutbacks on “non-essential” items including expensive clothing. Michael Ball, creator of designer jean brand Rock & Republic, explained how he built his denim empire and what he’s doing to handle the economic downturn in a recent BusinessWeek article.

With no fashion experience, Ball created a line of jeans just over five years ago that immediately caught on in the Los Angeles celebrity scene. His high-end, $300 men’s and women’s jeans developed a cult-like following that turned his idea into a $300 million brand.

So, how did he do it?

Start with a high-quality product that people find value in. “Certain denim brands have made it their focus to be a game-changer. They make you feel really great and you will pay twice as much for those. What [Ball] is able to do is get the consumer of many different age segments and deliver on the implied promise that these jeans will make your life better, you will feel better.”

Change with the market. Ball understands that people have less money these days and are changing the way they spend money. While they may not buy three pairs of jeans at a time, they will buy one great pair from the brand with the right message. “The top-tier has fallen off,” says ball who has repriced his jeans due to the struggling market.

Develop a powerful brand. Believing that “all publicity is good publicity,” Ball is never shy when it comes to media attention. Strong brands are more likely to hold up better than weak ones when the market hits a slump. Ball was able to create a distinctive position in his market with a “real perceived differentiation” than others in his industry.

Position your product as an essential part of your consumers’ lives. Whether it’s a pair of jeans or employee training software, only the most powerful and adaptive companies will survive.

2009 business-to-business marketing trends

As we start to close out 2008 and enter into some of the toughest economic times our country has seen in decades, researchers are predicting business-to-business marketing in 2009 to be more frugal than ever.

BtoB Magazine recently spoke with marketers, agency executives and industry experts to determine these top 10 trends for 2009:

  1. Doing more with less. Marketing budgets will continue to shrink through 2009 and businesses will have to stretch every marketing dollar available.
  2. Leveraging social marketing. Businesses will continue to build online communities to connect with other businesses and customers with low-cost and free social marketing tools.
  3. Trust and transparency. After listening all year to news about the latest bailouts and bankruptcies, trust in business may be at an all-time low. Companies have started campaigns that will continue through 2009 “with messages focused on trust, confidence and stability.”
  4. Being part of the solution. In the coming year, B-to-B marketers will show how they are a part of the solution to global problems. Being there to help their customers solve problems will be critical to business success.
  5. Deeper analytics and database marketing. With tighter budgets comes more pressure to prove ROI, database marketing and analytics will become key to business survival.
  6. New metrics. To deal with the changing marketplace, marketers are developing metrics that will show how campaign efforts affect customers’ purchase decisions and brand trust.
  7. Video explosion. To go along with social marketing, we will see marketers learn to use video in ad campaigns, microsites, social media releases, e-mail and newsletters.
  8. Green as a business model. Green business efforts are slowly becoming an essential piece to companies’ business models.
  9. Increased global spending. Global marketing efforts will increase next year to reach emerging overseas markets and revenue.
  10. More focused events. More companies are favoring small events that offer targeted, face-to-face events with business contacts because of improved ROI.

Read the full BtoB article.

Friday fun: Guerrilla marketing in action

Guerrilla Marketing – an unconventional system of promotions, usually on a very low budget, that relies on time, energy and imagination.

“For every bootstrapper out there looking to build their business exposure without breaking your pocketbooks” Guerrilla Marketing is the way to go, according to those at the Bootstrapping Blog.

When you’re marketing on a budget, a little creativity in your advertising and marketing programs can help stretch your dollar by keeping cost low.

Bootstrapper recently compiled 10 Great Guerrilla Marketing Examples for our viewing pleasure, here are just a few examples:

Great guerrilla marketing in action, dentist advertisement

Great guerrilla marketing in action, dentist advertisement

Great example of guerrilla marketing, Clue "blood" soap

Great example of guerrilla marketing, Clue

Great example of guerrilla marketing, anti-smoking advertisement

Great example of guerrilla marketing, anti-smoking advertisement