November 18, 2008

New Chart: Marketers Tailoring Digital Tactics in Recessionary Economy

SUMMARY: Every marketing tactic gets more scrutiny when budgets face the sting of a struggling economy. Here is a glance at how marketers expect to tailor their investments in digital tactics during a downturn.
Marketers Flock to Some Digital Tactics, Abandon Others in Downturn
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Marketers face a difficult budget cycle, so every marketing tactic comes under more scrutiny. This chart offers a snapshot of how marketers view each digital tactic through the lens of the economic downturn.

Note that the chart shows only the percentage of marketers who are adding to or subtracting from their budgets; it doesn’t reflect their investments – an important distinction. For example, one-third of marketers predict that they will reduce their paid search spending; 27% plan an increase. Based on our analysis, the dollar value of those who plan on increasing will significantly outweigh the value of those who are decreasing.

Not surprisingly, house email and Web 2.0 are getting high attention; both are relatively low-cost and the former, at least, has proven ROI. Web 2.0 is seen as having the same virtue, although it doesn’t have email’s well-documented ROI.

Online display takes some lumps as the most brand-centric tactic. As we discussed in last week’s chart analysis, brand tactics suffer as marketers look to prove the value and return of every dollar spent. Expect to see an increase in hybrid-pricing deals and bundled packages, with brand impressions being attached to lead-generation and pay-per-action deals.

Mobile is still in its early stages, and most organizations reducing their mobile investment were likely in the testing phase. Large marketers have taken mobile seriously and likely make up the majority of the 13% who will boost spend. Now is not the time to stall mobile marketing – those organizations that master new channels will have an edge as marketers flood email inboxes and compete for paid-search terms.

Rental email doesn’t fare well. But will reality reflect intention in this case? Rental email is inexpensive, relatively predictable and fast – companies desperate to generate traffic and sales may turn to rental lists. But remember this chestnut: “You get what you pay for.”

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