Marketing is a valuable tool to business owners that can’t be ignored! When times get tough…marketing is the first to go. Why? Can anyone come up with a solid reason why executives have a knee jerk reaction to cut something that they need more than ever during an economic recession? So lets think about this logically…your company sales have decreased and you have lost major accounts. You make a decision to stop marketing your business at a time when you need it the most. Does this make logical sense? Why don’t you cut your accountant…there is less money coming in so you don’t need an accountant to manage things on a monthly basis. Perhaps..you can cut out the company lunches and holiday parties too. Guess what? Companies typically ONLY cut the marketing staff or Human Resources department during a recession. A hiring freeze is a frequent occurrence during these times.
Executives should look at their marketing spend as an investment rather than an expense. We need to stop looking at marketing as something we don’t need. It’s a necessity just like having a sales team in place or a financial controller. A business can’t succeed without all the pieces of the puzzle working together as a team! Marketing is a huge part of the business model and can make or break your success! Have you ever wondered why most executives hate marketing people? Over the years, I have found that most business owners don’t hold high regard for marketing professionals. I think it’s funny that people feel the solution is to cut out marketing all together to save money and be successful! HOW???? If a customer is not aware of your new products or a new prospect does not know about you…then how can you be successful? I think it’s time for executives to face facts…..they need marketers in order to reach their business goals. It’s time for acceptance!
Typically, here is what happens when companies cut their marketing all together. About 3 months after cutting it, the business owner goes into panic mode and realizes he/she needs to quickly get marketing material out there again. A marketing consultant is hired to help them get back on track and everything is rushed! There is little planning involved and there is major stress on all parts. The marketing people have no time to come up with a strategic plan due to the fact that the business owner wants marketing material ASAP. It’s panic mode for all involved. This is NOT Smart marketing! Smart marketing involves strategizing, assessing, researching, and targeting the right customers.
The good news is that in 2012 more companies plan on increasing their spending on email marketing than any other channel according to a survey by “StrongMail”. Out of 939 executives who took the survey, 60% said they expect to raise their email marketing budgets and 54% said they would increase their social media spend. Companies need to invest in these marketing efforts to get out of their economic situation and start making money again. Another interesting fact was that respondents will decrease their spend in 2012 on direct mail, tradeshows and events. This is understandable as there is a large expense associated with these types of media.
It’s important to allocate your budget wisely and focus in on the areas that you feel will generate new business for your organization. Another great idea for marketers is to attend many trade shows and events…but don’t exhibit. This will help companies save money on exhibit booths…but still remain in the public’s eye. Schedule meetings at shows and plan presentations at events. Keep your name out there during a recession and watch your company be the first to regain market share and success. It’s a great time to be out there without all your competitors. Hopefully, companies will come out of hiding in 2012 and see the value of marketing for their businesses.
About Monique Merhige
Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.