Here is a final look at the impact of the economic downturn on marketing departments and budgets.
When it comes to budget cuts, trade events are an easy target. Respondent comments indicate that, while travel to trade shows won’t be cut completely, many companies will reduce the size of their delegations, sponsorships and booth footprints.
A key trend finds companies planning to use the downturn for leverage in negotiating new and old contracts. Nearly half of respondents from larger organizations expect to renegotiate contracts, with SMBs close behind. Downward price pressure will help to reduce margins everywhere.
Virtual training, on the other hand, looks to benefit from a reduction in travel spending. More than a quarter of companies predict a move in this direction. This same prediction didn’t pan out in the 2001 downturn, but improvements in connectivity and viewing technologies may make a difference in 2009.
Two personnel trends are intertwined – cutting staff and moving toward outsourcing. Larger organizations are much more likely to cut marketing staff. But cuts in staff will lead to more opportunities for agencies and consultants – especially at the point where sales begin to increase but companies remain leery of rehiring. For companies in a position to hire, there will be plenty of experienced online marketers out there.
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