Knowledge Center


Article -> Re-Prioritizing Marketing Plans

Date Added: February 2009

NOTE: This article appeared in the February 15, 2009 issue of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Many organizations understandably are reducing costs and cutting budgets. Unfortunately, nearly 70% are decreasing marketing budgets, contrary to what should be done.

Long-term, companies slashing marketing typically spend more than they save attempting to recover from the extended marketing absence. Organizations needing cash and/or revenues need customers to purchase products and services. Marketing helps achieve this.

Alternative approaches include:

  • Reviewing marketing budgets and re-prioritizing. Create “A” items that must be continued, “B” items that should be done, and “C” items as nice to have.
  • Aligning “A” and “B” items with the strategic plan. Re-assess the organization’s core competencies and goals, and re-build a budget based on these.
  • Engaging the entire organization. Collaborate with other departments to create synergies and allocate resources to achieve ultimate success.
  • Understanding customers. Customer knowledge is the main source of influence and purchasing decisions. Don’t guess. Be sure you have accurate knowledge by asking, listening, learning and acting on customer feedback.
  • Communicating. Communicate with all audiences – employees, customers, suppliers, colleagues, networks, media, etc.

I recently spoke with an organization preparing for 2009. Like many firms, their 2008 goals were not met and they faced uncertainty for 2009. They have followed the five items above for many years. They summarized themselves by stating, “we do some things very well… we strategize, we plan, we create processes, and we execute.”

While this sounds simple, accomplishing it isn’t easy. Their results: nearly 100 years of profitable growth, 60% of revenues from clients served for 10 years, and 30% of revenues from clients served for 50 years. They plan on 15+% annual growth for the next five years, believing this is low. In addition, their 2008 shareholder value increased 10% – the lowest increase ever. Not bad for a weak year.

They still do marketing activities, along with targeting core markets and industries. Firms generating 30% of revenue from clients they’ve served for 50+ years are doing something right. We can all learn from them.

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