Sunday, January 11, 2009

Marketing in a tough economic environment

Digital media provides marketers with a quantum leap forward in accountability and measurement tools. Everyone knows this. But in the current economic environment, marketers need to remember to focus on the basics.

Here's a non-exhaustive list of what marketers should demand from their media partners (like Intermarkets):

1. Get as much performance reporting, with as much detail as possible. This will let you know why the consumer is behaving the way they are; and may point to ways to guide them on the path you want them to take.

2. Work with your media partner on pricing. They want to sell, you want to buy. If they won't budge on pricing, push for value-add inventory to reach the eCPM you need to make a campaign work. Sometimes media companies have to stick to a baseline CPM, but may be able to deliver the number you need with value-add inventory.

3. Listen to the advice of the media partner to learn what's working on their sites. They can't give you confidential information, but they certainly can guide you in the right direction.

4. Track conversions and share the information with the media company. Working with the same numbers, both marketer and media partner can create the best, win-win opportunity.

5. Chill. Everyone else is stressed out about so much stuff these days, no one needs to add to it. Not everything is going to work out perfectly, and you will have successes. Mutually treating each other well will create a more desirable and productive relationship.

6. If you've got to cut your budgets, talk with the media partner to see what options they can provide to you. You might be surprised at how flexible ad sellers are these days, even in digital media.

7. Share future plans with your media partner, confidentially, to help them understand your goals and objectives so that they can develop placement opportunities for you.

8. Keep in mind that your competitors may--correctly--see the current environment as an opportunity to gain market share more cheaply through reduced advertising costs. When a non-marketer in your company throws down the gauntlet to you to cut ad spending, the best reply is to ask, "why do we want to cut sales and market share now, of all times?" Of course, smiling innocently as you say this will make the comment go over much better.

9. Ask your media partner for ongoing and consultative support to make your campaigns even more successful. You should expect them to provide you with suggestions, strategies and tactics, as well as insights.

At Intermarkets, we strive to provide all of this to our clients, all the time. It's astounding how many ad sellers wouldn't even call clients back just a few months ago; now they're having to cold call prospects.

What a difference a few months make.


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