October 28, 2008

New Chart: Hard Times Are Prime Time to Build Brand Awareness, Trust

SUMMARY: Here’s a look at some trends in marketing budgets, and the impact of these trends over the next few quarters. This initial Chart of the Week reflects on the results of our recent research into the impact of the struggling economy on marketing. We’ll share more charts from this research over the next several weeks.
Impact of Struggling Economy on Marketing Budgets

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First, notice the big difference between the sample average and those of large organizations during this economic maelstrom. Essentially, the latter organizations are twice as likely to have made a downturn-related budget cut.

Throughout the survey of marketers, we see larger organizations as a more accurate bellwether of economic impact because they are much more practiced in predicting future market conditions. At the other end of the spectrum, we see a very small number of organizations that are taking a more aggressive posture and investing in marketing as a response to the downturn.

This latter group and their attitude are of great interest because there is always opportunity in a fluid situation. The question is: How best to take advantage in a time when resources are especially precious? Let’s start with a contrarian view.

There are many arguments to be made for moving marketing budget dollars to direct and online tactics. There’s no denying that logic, and we’ll explore it further. But it’s vital that small- and medium-sized companies don’t give up on brand advertising.

There’s a symbiotic relationship between brand and lead generation. For example, print campaigns spark searches and, most importantly, brand builds awareness and trust –vital elements for your business in a downturn.

And, budget for brand can be a silver lining in a bad economy. Impressions get cheaper as other companies pull into their shells.

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More Research Data from Sherpa:

MarketingSherpa’s 5th Annual Business Technology Marketing Benchmark Guide 2008–09:

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