Is This The Year To Turn Your Marketing Budget Upside Down?

In a word: Yes.

A new survey was just released saying that ad dollars being put into “social media” is still trending up while print is trending down. The real question is “Why aren’t marketers turning their entire budget upside down and rethinking every dollar?”

Below is a chart of how analysts are saying advertising budgets will be spent in 2010.

To this we offer commentary — on how to maximize these expenditures. Even better; we suggest adding or replacing some of these with more focused customer outreach.

Survey says: Bennett says: Highest and Best Use
#1 Television Tell a story, engage the audience, tie to web site
#2 Newspapers Use only for editorial advantage and very specific needs
#3 Internet Use as a format for solutions, problem solving and interaction
#4 Magazines Magazines are perfect for visuals and in-depth story telling
#5 Outdoor Tie to web and mobile communications, use digital, less is more

What’s missing?– Communicating with former and current customers – too much of the ad budget goes to acquisition of new customers. Much more cost effective to treat current customers better and regain former customers.
– Open sincere dialogue with customers – internet, mail, blogs and phone – true two-way communications and world class customer service
– Events – allow customers to get to know your product, service and people
– Alternative marketing – every product and service has a distinct audience and each can be reached in a unique way. Sidewalk graphics? Personalized postcards? Affinity groups?
– Tie sales and rewards at every level – in a future column I’ll share with you how some organizations are having success by replacing advertising budgets with customer loyalty programs and employee rewards.

One-size-fits-all marketing has never worked and there has never been a better time to rethink your marketing mix. It may take more thinking time upfront, but will be more fulfilling and save significant dollars in the long term.

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