Pandering Your Way To Profits? Most Likely Not.

Everyone in business today feels the need to do more with less; fewer people and smaller budgets. Sure, it’s 2010 and things were supposed to be better by now, but many marketing professionals are still adjusting and cutting advertising spending.

Many of the prospects we speak with are dealing with this by cutting across the board. All channels are reduced to get to the “new budget number.” It seems fair to your advertising partners. All your reps — the radio lady, your trade publication guy and the direct mail house — understand that you’re doing what you have to do. And they feel they are getting their share of your budget. “We’ll get through this together.”

This is a perfect example of pandering, or gratifying others at your company’s expense. Webster online defines pandering as: “to act as a pander; especially : to provide gratification for others’ desires.” And when it comes to getting the most out of a lower ad budget, smart marketers know that this is not the way to get results.

Instead, successful companies are rebuilding their advertising plans from the ground up, bucket by bucket. Tracking results, surveying customers and adjusting each bucket of spending based on one thing: what is working today. Smart marketers understand that they don’t need every type of media in their plan, just because their competition is there. They stick to what is performing best for them right now.

So how can you get started? Shifting your spending strategy to meet your new budget needs does take some calculated risk. You may need to completely empty some buckets in order to afford to increase others, and it may take some trial and error to get the balance just right.

After reviewing your results, I strongly recommend determining your media lead generator and investing more in that media. Also consider completely cutting out a media that is just “somewhere you feel you have to be”, despite it giving you low trackable results. Continue to track and review results before making your next move to shift spend between your buckets.

Over time your plan will move toward a solid performance model and you will see improvement across the board.

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