Marketing: What to do now?

February 3, 2009

You may have noticed that Superbowl XLIII (sounds like plus-sized clothing) featured ads that acknowledge our current tough economic time. All cynicism aside, I feel it’s smart to acknowledge that A) The Truth We See Around Us is indeed The Truth; and B) Consumers aren’t stupid.

We’re in a neato paradox right now: We are pulling back from an orgy of spending but being told we need to spend to keep the economy going. “Save!” is what the money advisor types say, and “Spend” is what everyone in government hopes and prays that we’ll do.

OK. So that’s the consumer world.

In the business world, especially in high ticket sales of technology and services, we’ve seen a tightening for quite a while. We’re in reality world, where it sucks just a little more everyday. Except, maybe not. This February’s Gartner 2009 Marketing Spending and Priorities conference call claims spending is being maintained, and even increased, especially online. (Disclaimer: the call is for Gartner subscribers only.)

Summit’s opinion is that you should spend AND save.

Inventory is cheap for marketing vehicles. Look at your latest favorite journal—it weighs 20% less not because of a lack of editorial content. Nope. Thin books are the result of less advertising. Inventory is cheap elsewhere too, from newsletter sponsorships, to conference and trade shows, to targeted direct marketing via media properties. Your message now can go further because the clutter quotient is down. It’s “Let’s make a deal time”—unless you’re marketing in the white hot green space. Except for, say, Dwell Magazine. Their book is full of ads for delicious green consumery stuff.

This lack of clamor means you should take a little time to review your marketing mix and find the right slots to put your message out there. And talk to your customers. Heck, we’ll even help you.

Look to develop new content to increase your thought leadership profile. That, in turn, could be a hook for a newsletter, a white paper or an editorial piece. And these, tied back to your web site, increase your search engine optimization.

It’s a new year. Give your plan a new look. And tell us, in this cut-throat, cut-back market, what are YOU doing to stand out?


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