Pro-active marketing to combat recession, vs defensive cost cutting
Businesses often react to recession by retreating into their caves and cutting costs everywhere, but cost cutting alone will not usually put them in good stead. Profits also depend on finding new ways to increase sales. Marketing is a key for this, but what forms of marketing will give that precious ROI when companies are so tight for funds?
Email marketing is top choice
A recent survey has shown more than half of businesses are planning to increase their marketing budgets in 2009, and the top area by far is email marketing at 73% followed by search engine marketing at 44%. Many will decrease spending on costly, less targeted marketing like advertising and trade shows.
Email is favoured because it’s a cost-effective channel, allowing companies to deliver highly personalised, one-to-one messages. In this economic climate, delivering relevant offers and information will be critical for connecting with budget-strapped consumers and getting them to spend.
Best ROI, ahead of other Internet marketing forms
Another compelling statistic comes from the Direct Marketing Association, which estimates that email currently generates around $46 for every dollar spent, contrasted with around $23 for search engine optimisation & adverts and $7 for catalogues.
Relevance and personalised content critical, harnessing your customer database
The survey highlights personalised marketing like email and search, showing that 81% of businesses plan to use information in customer databases (CRMs), analytic tools, and other resources to send more relevant email to consumers in 2009, or are looking at investing in tools that will enable them to do this.
The right strategy is critical to make your investment effective. The answer is not to send more email, but make emails more effective through relevance, testing and optimisation. Harnessing customer databases and other backend systems will provide you with the information you need to send targeted messages, and testing tools will help you find the optimum way to present those messages. As companies begin to put more marketing dollars into email, and consumer inboxes fill up, you can’t afford to send broadcast messages that get lost in the clutter.
Companies that invest in the right strategy, technology, and tools now will be able to weather the storm and come out ahead when the economy picks up.