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High Roi Marketing Strategies for a Down Economy


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This is a summary of the panel discussion sponsored by the SDMA, held in Bellevue, WA on Feb. 4, 2009

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High Roi Marketing Strategies for a Down Economy

  1. 1. High ROI Marketing Strategies in a down Economy Tips from Tonight’s Panel The SDMA would like to thank our panel for sharing their own stories and tips on how to weather this time of economic uncertainty, falling budgets and rising expectations. Here are some tips for each panelist on how you can help yourself, your company, your customers.
  2. 2. Talk to your clients about their business and their goals It might seem obvious, but if you're a company with vendor relationships, or you're a vendor, it's time to really get engaged and talk about company goals, and your ability to help. It's easy for all of us to get into our routines, and we forget to communicate about all the things that we, as vendors, are able to do. How is our client supposed to know that we can help them, if we haven't invested the time to really understand what they're working through? Maybe you have some new technology, maybe you have some creative ideas that you've wanted to test, now is the time to engage. That mutual understanding and willingness to truly partner is going to be imperative in helping all of us get through a tough economic period. As an example, we engaged in a very high-level discussion with Alaska about new email, and they agreed to basically support a research effort. We were able to jointly identify some specific areas where a reasonable investment has the potential for seven figure dollar returns. Now, it's still going to take work, but that wouldn't have happened without that open dialogue and joint effort. We're now releasing social media email and video email, which we think will help Andrea and Alaska do exactly what they've articulated to us as a priority; being in front of their customer, regardless of where they are. That articulated goal of theirs, helped us to go back and think about new technology we could deploy that might help make that possible, at least in our medium. And then, it's 'test', 'test', 'test', and adjust. So, it's a call-to-arms for companies and vendors to start talking, and start being creative, and to really engage.quot; My web sites for good tips: Email – Idea Generation – Guy Kawasawki - Seth Godin - Tips from Brian Ratzliff, What Counts
  3. 3. Leaner times call for more Transparency Leaner times call for more transparency into each channel – make sure you understand your ROI across all of your different marketing channels and take a disciplined approach towards budget allocation. It’s not enough to just cut budgets across all channels horizontally. Instead, make an informed decision based on ROI of each. In addition, the downturn also can enable you to improve your ROI across demand-sensitive channels, as other brand advertisers decrease their spends in these channels. Less demand generally drives lower pricing, which can drive better ROI. Certain channels, like online display advertising, can present big opportunities to get more with less budget. The key to making this work in online display is connecting with agencies and platforms that enable you to bid on advertising inventory (as opposed to paying guaranteed rates normally associated with media insertion orders) so that you get the very best price as demand continues to drop. Tips from Jamie Lomas, AdReady
  4. 4. Stay in front of the consumer’s mind The trends are shifting and the interactive space is evolving. As you look to stay strong during a tough economic time the importance of remaining front of the consumers mind is even more relevant than ever. Look at who your customers are - whether it's Facebook, MySpace,, email, portals, search, or twitter. Be there. Make it easy on your customer by creating widgets, relevant ads, or timely and targeted emails. The most valuable tool we have, especially as interactive marketers, is the ability to be strategic and to constantly optimize. Know your customer, where do they live, what do they like to do. With cost rising, and demand falling, you must go to your customers, and know that if you don't someone else will. Tips from Andrea Schwarzenbach, Alaska Airlines
  5. 5. Don’t be Paralyzed by fear of the unknown Almost every client and agency today knows the need to be embracing interactive media, whether that means getting started or expanding an online presence. Sitting on the sidelines will cause Agencies to lose Ad Spend or Clients, Direct Clients will miss an opportunity to reach the audiences that they desire in the preferred form of media consumption.  Build a solid foundation through Search, o Own your Brand o Be relevant o Leverage the power of measurability o Maximize Flexibility—Bid Strategy, Keywords, Ad Copy, Campaign Focus  Engage with your Target Audience Through Display Media o Create Synergy from Offline Campaigns, Extend your Message o Understand Endemic and Behavioral targets will help you reach a portion of your target audience o Scale your Reach and uncover unknown targets through Performance Media Tips from Andy Cotten, Yahoo Search Marketing
  6. 6. Keep your customers smiling. It’s easy during these recessionary times to look at the dark side of things and talk about everything that is going wrong; however, smart brands in this troubled economy will look beyond the negative and show consumers how their brands make life better. And while price savings are nice, unless you’re Wal-Mart then you shouldn’t hang your hat on discounts. People need a break. It’s no wonder the movie business typically does well in down economies and times of constantly dreadful news. Companies that can help consumers see and have a brighter future will fare better in hard times and will create an emotional bond that will transcend the economy. Brands need to take this positive message to heart to build lasting value propositions that consumers want to connect with. Try New Things. Make Friends. • Look to digital mediums to widen your audience and build a Look for good partners and make sure your long-term bridge with them. agency has them too. Williams-Helde has • Leverage your dollars with pay-per-performance programs. had good success working with strategic • Identify and focus your resources on your highest-value partners on aligned strategies that cross customers. disciplines and demographics beyond our • Use a marketing dashboard to track ALL efforts online and traditional comfort zones. offline, and don’t be scared of the numbers. • Engage social media, which can really help if done right. Tips from Marc Williams, Williams-Helde Marketing Communications
  7. 7. “Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye can see” – Linus, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown We live in an age of economic duress, an age of excess-engendered skepticism about consumption. The quick diffusion of this by the Internet has made that skepticism even more pressing. So it’s no surprise that the world of business -- specifically in the realms of advertising, branding, and marketing -- has to once again ennoble the concept of sincerity, which is to say, they have to simply be sincere and do work that is bounded by and radiates honesty. Marketing too often over promises in the hope of attracting prospects but the product or service under delivers in the execution. The three biggest mistakes marketers make are the attempt to ―sell‖ falsehoods with clever word-play, the attempt to sell ―full identities‖ and not micro-identities and to market in a fragmented, inconsistent way, regardless of the medium they use. The secret of all three is that they are the same. They are insincere. As Warren Buffet once said - ―Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent everybody notices.‖ So go tell everyone the same thing. Be Sincere Tips from John Kottcamp, Ascentium
  8. 8. For additional information, contact any member of tonight’s panel • Andrea Schwarzenbach, Alaska Airlines - • Andy Cotton, Yahoo Search Marketing - • Brian Ratzliff, What Counts – • Marc Williams, Williams-Helde, - • Jamie Lomas, AdReady – • John Kottcamp, Ascentium – Thanks to the SDMA for making tonight’s panel possible