Don’t Get Petty About Marketing

I could not help but think about Tom Petty (in town last weekend to play Great Woods, err Tweeter Center, err Comcast Center), when reading yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article titled “Don’t’ Back Down.” It was a Q&A with MarketingSherpa’s research director Stefan Tornquist on why times like these where we are enduring a “faltering economy” are actually the best time to expand marketing activities, rather than cut back or main the status quo. (Full disclosure: Stefan is a former client of mine, but I can neither take credit for helping secure this great piece, nor did we put him up to it. )

As a marketing firm for young companies, we agree with many of his points (no kidding!). What was reassuring was that MarketingSherpa recently conducted a survey of small businesses which revealed that many companies aren’t entirely slashing marketing budgets; in fact, the second largest group of respondents sees an opportunity to increase marketing activity despite challenging economic times. But, the survey – not surprisingly – revealed the marketing mix is changing: instead of relying exclusively on traditional ads and direct marketing campaigns, they are investing more online. This mirrors the activities of most of our current clients who are using a variety of tools and campaigns – both traditional and new, off line and viral and looking at marketing in a more holistic way with quick and easy measurement at the very heart of every program. Stefan has some good tips on how to save on marketing expenses for those firms who remain under tight financial restraints.

He sums up the overall premise of the article very succinctly: “One of the greatest challenges for small companies is to make a name for themselves and a downturn actually provides an opportunity to do that because it tends to suppress the branding activity.”


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