Have You Adjusted Your Marketing Spend?
As well as posting the poll question on this blog, I asked the following question on the LinkedIn Sales and Marketing Q&A forum.
Have you adjusted your marketing spend up or down in response to the current economy?
So far, the responses have leaned toward “spending the same” however, many of the marketers are taking a close look at their marketing mix. They know the only way they will be able to make intelligent decisions about where to spend is by measuring results.
Here is a paraphrased selection of some of the comments. You can read all the comments here. The comments are well thought out and suggest several interesting ideas for how to adjust marketing spend without killing the business.
• Branding initiatives, and other hard to quantify activities, are being scaled back.
• In an effort to justify activities, we are measuring more than just marketing’s impact at the top of the funnel.
• Scaling back in some of the harder hit target markets, but increasing spend in more profitable ones.
• Scaling back in more mature markets but increasing spend in emerging markets.
Realistically, not all marketers have complete control over their budgets. In many organizations the purse strings are held by someone not in marketing. Marketing is one of the first places nonmarketing executives may look to slash budgets. We can’t stop development. We can’t stop sales. We can’t stop supporting customers. But maybe we can scale back marketing, just a bit, for a quarter or two.
Yes, it will have an impact, but when quarterly numbers or the company’s immediate survival are on the line, you can’t blame the average executive for looking at marketing for immediate cuts.
And, marketers themselves are not without blame. Many marketers are uncomfortable with being measured or are not sure how to do it. When pressed to identify their most effective initiatives or to justify the investments, they just can’t do it.
So maybe, just maybe, an economic downturn can have a positive impact on our profession. It can help us improve our own skills by understanding which metrics impact the bottomline. It can make us better at evaluating the mix. And, it gives marketers a chance to improve our communication skills at the executive level when we are called on to justify the investments.
It is hard to get through times like this, but we can come out stronger.