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Navigate These Waters With Care

July 29, 2009  

In an article at MarketingProfs, Christian Shea challenges the conventional wisdom that those who maintain a robust marketing budget are more likely to power their company through the recession. "Massive consumer-based brands such as BMW, Dell, and Wal-Mart are so tied to marketing as part of their business strategies," he concedes, "that drastic marketing cuts would most likely have an even greater impact on their bottom line than the recession alone."

But he's not so sure that this assumption holds true for, say, B2B companies with strong sales and business-development teams. The key, advises Shea, is to examine the impact marketing has on your sales; then determine whether strategic marketing cuts make sense.

He reminds us that any budget-cutting decisions won't be made in a vacuum: "If your company reduces communications to your current and potential customers and your main competitor maintains or increases communications to your current and potential customers, whose business is more likely to grow during and following the recession?" In other words, your competition's strategy might have a greater impact on your budgetary level than trends from past downturns.

To ensure your survival, "[y]ou have to get creative with pricing, and product and service offerings, and work harder than the competition," Shea concludes.

The Po!nt: Navigate budget-cutting waters with great care. Help may lie in identifying your company's core values and your customers' core needs—while keeping a steady eye on the competitive horizon.

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