02 August 2011
Typically when the economic climate becomes tough, when revenue budgets aren't achieved or a vital contract is not renewed or cancelled, one of (if not THE) first areas to be cut back is the available marketing spend.
This reaction is all too common but potentially damaging and short sighted, given that maintaining customer contact and a level of brand voice is crucial to the long term objectives of any organisation. Plus it can have an adverse affect on staff moral throughout an organisation.
When faced with the potential need to reduce or cut marketing budgets, the real opportunity lies in the ability of the marketing professional to take the initiative and review existing strategies to identify where any cost savings can be achieved. By reviewing current or proposed campaigns and objectives, monies can potentially be redistributed or saved, by identifying and ensuring that the most cost effective platform is being used.
It also serves to maintain the momentum of the brand across both internal and external audiences, whilst avoiding the potential threat of providing competitors with a competitive advantage as a result of your absence within or across various platforms, ironically without them having to increase their marketing budget!
In today’s competitive markets the need for good effective marketing that delivers the required results is greater than ever and it really is a case of optimising marketing budgets to get the highest possible return.
iQ Media, a leading full service creative communications agency with over 25 years experience of providing innovative and imaginative solutions for clients throughout the UK and Europe have identified the following tips for maintaining customer contact in an economic downturn;
Review existing plans and projects – what are you trying to achieve? Is it still relevant?
Can you achieve the same response by utilising another media platform? For example: direct mail still has a place in the marketing mix but email marketing provides significant benefits i.e. the ability to view who has actually received your mailing; furthermore who has actually taken the time to click on a link and visiting your website or any other online platform. With direct mail, you simply cannot access who has received and assimilated your proposition, without following up with a proactive telemarketing campaign, or reviewing associated statistics i.e. update via email addresses or bespoke telephone numbers. iQ Mail is a robust, easy to use email marketing platform which provides the user with access to opened and click thru rates, data on downloaded materials etc and is very cost effective vs. traditional direct mail campaigns.
Optimise Social Media Marketing – Social Media networks provide an opportunity to interact and provoke a response from a global audience; in a world where we can access information on a 247 basis, social media provides a branded platform for your products and services, engenders loyalty and interaction on a long term basis. For both B2C and B2B products and services too; and the best thing is that it is 99.9% free, apart from your time and expertise (unless you decide to utilise the platform for paid for advertising which is another subject entirely).
Social Media Marketing provides you with a platform that allows you to segment your audience dependent upon likes, age, region and interests providing you with the opportunity to tailor bespoke messages to key audiences. so avoiding a scatter gun approach. iQ Media have recently produced a white paper on the value of Social Media Marketing within the Marketing Mix – please click here to download a copy.
Do you have existing collateral that can repurposed across other platforms? For example, do you have any existing powerpoint or video sequences that, with a little bit of editing, can be repurposed and utilised across new platforms i.e. YouTube, Vimeo or embedded within your website? Web Video ranks higher than comparable text only content – search engines love video content, so you may be missing out on a real opportunity, a real Win-Win as you can utilise existing materials across very popular platforms whilst integrating as part of the marketing and promotional mix. Video Production is a core competency for the team at iQ Media and we can offer significant economies of scale for our clients as we have our own inhouse editing suite, camera crew, sound recordists and directors. Our designers and developers can also produce and repurpose PowerPoint Presentations, within video or multimedia programmes or for distribution online.
Do you actually review the content on your website and all other online platforms? Is this something you put off because it is too vast a project? A simple update or addition of new text can have a significant effect on SEO rankings, plus if you utilise a content management system and effective analytical tools such as Google Analytics, you can identify any changes in visits, bounce rates etc. SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the most effective, long term strategy to drive traffic to your website when compared with paid for advertising (PPC Campaigns). Our SEO specialists can work with you to identify your current online position and produce SEO planning and strategy documents, which iQ Media can then put into practice for you.
Why do you attend or exhibit at Tradeshows and Events?
Exhibitions are very sector driven and it can be a case of “....well, if we don’t attend people will wonder where we are”, "our competitors are all there", or “....not sure why we attend, but we always have!" As with any marketing spend, there needs to be some trigger or measurement when attending events or exhibitions, especially given the significant costs involved.
It may be that the objectives can be achieved via other means, providing much more control and direction, potentially providing significant cost savings.
Our Live Events team can work with you to identify what your key objectives are and formulate the most effective events strategy for your organisation i.e. Exhibitions, Company specific Seminars and Roadshows to a pre determined delegate list or Sponsorship opportunities within your sector etc.
Managing Above the Line Spend - TV and DRTV Campaigns
When you mentioned TV advertising, colleagues will typically say “oh are we going onto ITV1?) Carefully identifying your target audiences and identifying the type of programmes they watch, can help you achieve real savings; plus if you're brave enough, you can leave most of your planning until nearer the anticipated air date, you can scoop up last minute deals from major channels.
With TV, always make sure that as many contact points as possible are included as these provide optimum opportunities to interact but also track the effectiveness of the TV Campaign itself. For example, you may not see huge numbers of inbound calls as a result of appearing on TV, but you may see significant hikes in search terms for your brand or company name which can be directly attached to search “spikes” on line. Pre and post campaign analysis covering call volumes, web traffic and search terms will really help to validate the cost.
So if you are looking to review your existing marketing and promotional activities, or if you would like to review existing collateral for repurposing across other platforms, or identify how other platforms could be integrated within your current marketing mix, then please do get in touch by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 612 7147.
We can make some initial recommendations, without any obligation whilst showing you some examples of our work. We look forward to hearing from you.
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