Marketing in the Downturn – Part 1

Online Marketing

With Australia’s likelihood to ride out the global economic crises now looking bleak, the belts are tightening and marketers are starting to feel the pressure to deliver more results with fewer resources.

So just how can you get more from less? This is a 2 part series designed to provide online marketers and business owners with some food for thought to get more from less.

Part 1 features tips within the digital advertising and promotional space.

1. Changing The Advertising Model

Faced with a downturn, many organisations look to cut spending in areas that they see as “non essential”. One of the first areas to come under scrutiny is advertising. As however approximately 1/3 of companies cut their spending during a downturn, this is one of the best times to increase spending to win market share.

Stephen King, a pioneer in the area of online advertising found “businesses that cut their advertising expenditures in a recessionary period lose no less in terms of profitability than those who actually increase spending by an average of 10 per cent.” In other words, cutting advertising spend to increase short term profits doesn’t seem to work.

How can organisations leverage advertising in this climate to get more from less?

1) Negotiate Everything: Publishers will be feeling the pinch and will be looking to offload inventory. This is therefore the ideal time to be negotiating hard as rate card prices are slashed.
2) Pay For Response; Google is driving the demand from marketers to move to a pay per click/response model. If you need to ensure your spend is going to deliver results then seek out advertising solutions whose pricing is based on a response or options that guarantee some sort of return..

2. Anyone for Contra?

With businesses feeling the pinch, many companies will be looking for new opportunities to achieve their marketing and business objectives. Partnerships can open up new opportunities for promotion at a low cost. Identify firms that offer a service or goods that would complement yours and then approach the organisation to discuss promotional opportunities that can be exchanged – whether that be promoting the partner through your newsletter, a small ad on your site or any other opportunity you may be able to offer.

3. Web 2.0

Content MarketingThere are numerous free promotional channels on the internet which can be exploited – from social and professional networking sites, micro-blogging sites and business forums.

If your organisation is in the B2B sector consider how you can build your profile through the array of networking sites. Use LinkedIn’s Q&As section to build your/your business’ reputation in a given specialisation through answering questions. Or if you provide services to small businesses, there are an array of Australian forums dedicated to this segment – why not write an informative piece and post it on the relevant sites.

If you are in the B2C market, consider if your brand could benefit from providing regular updates via twitter. Sectors which are experiencing a strong following include;
• Publishing sites like SkyNews, News.com.au & TechWired all with nearly 400 followers,
• Not for profit sector like WWF (over 800 followers) & Amnesty International
• Travel and leisure segment like Tourism Queensland (734 followers) and STA Travel (177 followers)
• Education sector seem to be having some early success with RMIT having over 300 followers.

Alternatively you may feel that a blog can provide useful content to engage your prospects & existing consumers and also assist your SEO efforts. Best of all you can download free blogging software from both www.blogger.com & www.wordpress.org

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