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Retrench or Rejuvenate?

Myles Bristowe, President, AMA Boston

As President of the American Marketing Association in Boston, I am uniquely privileged to have my finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the market. Practical business intuition would suggest that a down economy is the perfect time to invest in your company. However, due to the rolling effects of “Black October” and the lack of confidence demonstrated by consumers during the holiday season, some marketing executives are retrenching. It may be tempting to freeze salaries, cut marketing budgets, and take on a “Marketing for NOW” attitude, but now may not be the time.One consequence of marketing for NOW might be to eliminate tactics that are not readily familiar to you as a marketer. New marketing tactics such as social media, online video, digital media outreach, viral marketing and event search marketing are sometimes not perceived as “safe” if they haven’t had a few successes already. With our clients, we’ve found that when executed properly, these new media tactics can increase your lead generation by up to 25%.

A second effect of focusing on NOW is the temptation to axe your nurture programs. These important programs may fall off the budget table because the yield is too far down the road. However, these nurture programs are your future. There are some creative ways to keep your nurture programs running in the background.

The third result of focusing on NOW is that your cuts could create holes in your message. At a time when companies desperately need marketing, cutting important online and offline channels can create unfortunate gaps in your unified marketing message. If you are not careful, retrenching can also create campaign silos, which will eat away at the effectiveness of your total marketing investment.

Marketing is always important, in good times or bad. As your competitors pull back in fear, they create extra space for you to fill. You may have an opportunity to create a bright spot for your brand to shine through the economic darkness. What will you do?

Myles Bristowe
President, Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association

Chief Marketing Officer
Commonwealth Creative Associates
Framingham, MA

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The views and opinions on this blog are solely those of the contributors and do NOT necessarily reflect the official opinions of the Boston Chapter of the American Marketing Association.