As we’ve mentioned before, it’s important to keep marketing during tough economic times. McGraw-Hill Research’s Laboratory of Advertising Performance studied recessions in the United States. It analyzed the performance of hundreds of companies during economic downturns. It found that business-to-business companies that continued or increased marketing during recessions averaged higher sales growth during the recession and for the following three years than those which eliminated or decreased marketing.
So you need to continue or increase marketing, but where should you put your money?
Marketing Sherpa released a new chart today examining how marketers expect to change their spending during the current downturn. The chart only shows those that are changing tactics. Here’s a quick summary of what other marketers are planning:
1. Marketers are going to rely mostly on social networking, emailing to house lists, and paid search. Emailing to your tested list has a track record of success and a low cost, so you should definitely think about keeping in touch with your customers this way. The jury is still out on whether social networking contributes much to the bottom line, but the cost is so low, it could be worth adding to your marketing mix at this time. Marketing Sherpa’s studies show that the number of marketers planning on increasing their paid search expenditures is smaller than those cutting expenditures, but the total dollar amount will increase.
2. Traditional direct mail, event marketing, radio/tv ads, emailing to rented lists, and print advertising are getting cut, big-time. Though a small percentage of marketers are going to increase their expenditures in these media, most are going to shelve these tactics for now.
3. Telemarketing, online display advertising, and mobile marketing are being pulled in both directions. Although telemarketing in concert with email marketing has been shown to dramatically increase sales, this higher-cost option is going to be cut back by many marketers. Display advertising, which is typically used for brand building and not as often used for targeted offers, also is out for the immediate future. Mobile marketing is not widely used yet and is not slated for big growth right now.
This study shows what other marketers are planning, and possibly shows what your best bets are for the near future. Your goal should be to craft a marketing mix that will be the most cost effective. This might mean keeping costs down by spending on social networking and email, or by standing out from your competitors and conncentrating on mobile marketing and telemarketing.
The bottom line is to keep marketing to take advantage of this opportunity to reach and retain a bigger share of your market.