Last week it was announced that Google is cutting its marketing budget in half for H2. If your company hasn’t announced cuts yet, don’t expect that to last very long. All across corporate America marketing budgets are getting sliced at breakneck speed. The reasons are obvious, but what to do about it is more perplexing. To the marketing team in charge of allocating their budget, the challenge is especially daunting.
At times like these it is important to remember that many of the greatest advancements in business history were born from crisis. Savvy markers will see this challenge to “do more with less” as an opportunity to earn their stripes. How will they achieve that? That’s the question we aim to answer in this article.
WHAT DO WE KNOW?
Obviously trade shows, conventions and other physical gatherings are not happening for the foreseeable future. This clearly puts a premium on digital marketing more than ever. For companies that were already engaged in this activity it may be as easy as shifting focus, but for those that had not yet fully invested, it’s time to accelerate the process at warp speed. Every industry is different, but the one unifying factor across the board is that you now have to literally be able to reach your target audience in their living room. The reality is this – if you’re not on their computer or phone, you’re nowhere.
WHAT DON’T WE KNOW?
The things we don’t know are too many to compile, but first and foremost we don’t know when this will end. As such, we need to be prepared for our temporary plans to become more permanent than we think. This means that the “band aids on bullet holes” problem solving technique won’t get us very far. We need to be executing marketing strategies that are forward looking, not just to tomorrow but to next month and next year. That being said, sometimes the market overreacts, creating opportunity in foraging ahead when others are ducking for cover. If ever there was a time to place a premium on being nimble, now is that time.
WHAT DON’T YOU KNOW?
If you don’t know which marketing campaigns are delivering the highest ROI or have real time data on your KPIs then you might as well be trying to land a plane with a blindfold on. In a good economy an average marketing team can get by with a wash, rinse and repeat approach to their annual budget. Those days are over. Now you had better know what your top producing campaigns are and allocate accordingly. Likewise, if you don’t have insight to your KPIs and actionable plans to be nimble and calibrate as you go, you are certain to be left behind in the days ahead. Flying blind is easy at 30,000 feet, but not so much when it’s time to come in for a landing!
WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
If ever there was a time to break the mold and take a little risk as a marketer it’s now. No one will blame you. Budgets are cut, demand is down and yesterday’s model isn’t going to work today. Take chances, flex your creative muscles and pay attention to where the proverbial puck is going. Things are changing fast and like always, there’s going to be winners and losers. We want you to be a winner! Have faith in your ideas and try that thing that you always wanted to try but were too afraid to pull the trigger on. It’s a new world and now is the time to redefine yourself. Take the leap, you’ll be glad you did, and you will have a helluva story to tell one day. As Warren Buffet said, “Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy and Greedy When Others Are Fearful.”