Larry the Ad Man's Blog

I hope you learn from my small business marketing and advertising tips.

"Advertising is to trade what Steam is to machinery" Thomas Cook.
It was an honor to be nominated for 2011 Canadian Weblog Awards.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Marketing and advertising in tough times

Many small businesses have tight budgets and advertising tends to be the tightest when economics hits hardest. I would agree one can't spend like crazy to get out of a rut, but to slash or completely gut your advertising budget is also not the way to go. Smart, prudent advertising in a recession, will help your business rally quicker when things turn around. I have always said, the statement I have no comeback for is "I have too much business as it is, I don't need more". Nothing short of a business consultant or coach with many billable hours can turn that statement into potential for growth for a business. Me reiterating the reason's to advertise beyond getting new customers are not going to turn that around. Some say, 3, 5 or more reason's to advertise. It all depends on how you break it up. Here are 6 I like taken from ( ) 1. Motivate Your Troops - Setting up a new campaign can be very exciting and you can make it more fun by including your employees in the process. 2. Remind Your Existing Customers Why They Are Your Customers-
3. Generate New Leads - 4. Recruit Great People from Your Competitors - 5. Garner More Positive Publicity -6. Build the Brand.

But to say you have no money to advertise, I can take a stab at that one. The IPA (the professional body for advertising agencies in the UK) came up with a great set of findings at a seminar in 2008. They are:
- Cutting budget in a downturn will only defend profits in the very short
- Ultimately the brand will emerge from the downturn weaker and much
less profitable
- It is better to maintain share of voice (SOV) at or above share of
market (SOM) during a downturn. The longer-term improvement in
profitability is likely to greatly outweigh the short-term reduction
-If other brands are cutting budgets the longer-term benefit of
maintaining SOV at or above SOM will be even greater.

In a recent article in Advertising Age ( small businesses are starting to spend on advertising again in the pre recession numbers. The article quotes "Small advertisers, which make up 20% to 25% of total ad spending, were much more cautious in the first half of the year," said Jon Swallen, senior VP-research at Kantar Media. "But in the third quarter they went all in."

So if you have cut your budget in 2010, or have little to no budget at all, have a good strong look at 2011, develop a plan with ALL mediums at your disposal and make a commitment to a message. By the end of your year, you'll be very happy you did and might even increase your budget for 2012? Until next time, I'm Larry "The Ad Man".

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