Yes, marketing budgets have shrunk. Every sale takes an incredible effort. Nevertheless, never before, has the discipline of advertising been as cost effective, measurable and far-reaching.
For some companies, failure is not an option. Therefore, instead of halting marketing and accepting defeat, they look at the current playing field:
- Creative services are more affordable than ever.
- The advertising landscape is less cluttered, offering those who advertise a greater chance to be noticed.
- The innovative new ways of extending traditional advertising via Internet advertising and social media are inexpensive or free.
- All advertising is now instantly measurable, both your expenditure and your messages.
That $20,000 logo and branding campaign now costs $5,000. That $100,000 corporate video now costs $35,000. In addition, that newsletter/catalogue you once printed for $75,000 can now cost $50,000. That $15,000 web site can cost from $5,000 to $8,000 and be much more interactive.
Your media dollar goes further than ever before. The great print magazines (like Affluent) have a companion web site, and offer e-mailing services, public relations opportunities, marketing advice and promotional partnerships. All an advertiser has to do is ask.
The television and radio stations will provide hundreds of spots for the old cost of a few dozen. A small advertiser can pick his media and dominate it. Your TV spots and product demonstrations will run for free on YouTube - and as if that weren’t fantastic by itself, they will also help search engines like Google put your web site higher in the rankings!
These same films run for free on your web site, all you need is a simple widget to add to your current site—and you are broadcasting world-wide. Not only are creative and media less expensive. Its weeks faster than ever before, and more flexible to your needs.
Want to be on the radio this afternoon with a special announcement. Done! Want to inform your friends and fans of a special event that is occurring in hours, not days. Done! Tired of being lost in the newspaper? Run a post-it note on the cover, or wrap the entire front page with your message. Remember when the editorial department dictated that your ad be relegated to the back pages!
At the beginning of this recession, many marketing departments chose to rely totally on social marketing and Internet marketing. While attractive for the low or no costs involved, most Internet only campaigns fell short of goals. Marketers smartly leveraging the best of all media print, broadcast, web, promotional offers/events, together with social marketing have seen the largest and most consistent results.
Best of all, advertising today is 100% measurable and accountable. Services such as Call Source track every phone call lead from magazines and TV spots in real time. Sure enough, ads generate immediate traffic and calls and with good monthly publications and memorable ads, buyers save the publications and ads and call as much as six months later.
For web traffic, Google analytics provides a dashboard of visitors, which you can relate to media placement. E-mail services such as Constant Contact can tell you how many e-mails where opened, and how many led to your web site. Retail tracking programs tie cash register activity to marketing plans. Medical centers and physician groups no longer run “image ads” and then wait for mail surveys to measure response. Instead, they build data bases of communities they can converse with at the moment of the patient’s need. Attorneys, no longer wait for a client to knock on the door. Clients can find out if they have a case on-line, within minutes. Restaurants can promote a special with a few hours notice.
A charity can appeal to thousands of potential donors in filmed appeal created and broadcast the same day. A manufacturer can post “How to Videos” and “Product Demonstration” on YouTube, and have a greater audience than a commercial in the Super Bowl. A hotel resort can buy search key words and capture everyone searching in their locale.
Yes. We are in a recession, and sales are harder to make. However, for those with courage and creativity, advertising has never been a better and more measurable investment.
Bob Gibson is president and CEO of Gibson Roscoe Advertising. His clients include: FPL/NextEra Energy, PGA of America, The Reef at Atlantis, Bahamas, medical centers, attorneys, and manufacturing companies. For more information, please visit www.gibsonroscoe.com or call (561) 741-1441 x108.