How to keep share-of-voice and maintain industry presence
Cost reduction is nothing new. The great recession accelerated the learning curve on how to reduce expenditures by cutting personnel and marketing investment. However, as we fast forward to a new year and a recovering economy, when asked to reduce marketing expenditures one must take into account the value of marketing and the influence it has on the behavior of your customers and competitors.
Where to start?
Begin by taking a realistic approach to reducing marketing expenditures. Identify what is essential for maintaining share-of-voice, brand awareness and customer attention.
Outbound marketing areas to review:
- Directory listings
- Direct Mail
- Public Relations
Inbound marketing areas to review:
- Social media channels
- Video sharing sites
- Search optimization
- Events sponsorship
- Tradeshow participation
Making smart decisions
A consequence of reducing marketing expenditures is a void in share-of-voice. It can be easy to justify drastic reductions in the hope of returning later when better financial times arrive. The fallacy of this strategy is that previous investment is lost and the completion fills the void left behind. Playing catch up is an expensive proposition because now the competition has the customer’s attention and it will require more investment to return to the status quo.
A more thoughtful approach is to review tactical executions such as reducing ad size, cutting back on frequency of placement, and the number of publications. If done correctly this can yield a reduction of 50% or more in outbound marketing cost while still keeping a presence in core industry segment publications.
While some may argue that marketing and the various tactics used to change customer behavior contribute little to the bottom line, customers notice the brands’ absence and begin to question brand health, viability and commitment to the industry.
Keeping a commitment to inbound marketing assures that these channels do not become neglected. In fact, these channels can become the focus of the marketing efforts because they are owned and do not require continual purchase of space and time.
The following should be reviewed for tactical execution and resources needed to keep the outbound program vibrant.
- Newsletters – keep customers informed by telling an expanded brand story.
- Blogs – highlight employee expertise and extend the effectiveness and reach on social media platforms.
- Emails – invite customers to events and keep a steady stream of valuable content delivered to the customer’s desktop.
- Website updates – keep the site fresh with announcements and social media postings.
- Video – Produce iMovies and post to syndicated video channels for optimized web search.
Marketing budget reductions happen, those that that take a strategic approach can minimize loss of market share and industry presence.
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