Planning the right marketing mix will help your business survive tough economic times and successfully reach your customer.
It’s often said that variety is the spice of life, and that’s equally true when it comes to your advertising budget. Planning the right marketing mix will help your business survive tough economic times and successfully reach your customer.
A study conducted by the Reed Research Group looked at the marketing efforts of two similar companies from 2000 to 2003. Both companies were involved in the electronics sector and targeted the same consumer profile—engineers and managers. Also, both retained advertising agencies to place their media buys and evaluate its effectiveness. The companies began the study with an equal share of audience awareness—50 percent.
During the study period, the companies made similar choices in how much they spent, with both decreasing their budgets in similar amounts when the economy dipped and their particular market was weak.
By the end of the four years, Company B pulled well ahead of its competition, holding 65% of overall audience awareness and outscoring Company A on scores for quality, reliability and support. Why did the companies fare so differently when their spending levels and target audiences were relatively the same?
Company B’s success was due to its marketing mix, not the size of its budget. The company realized it needed to have influence and messaging throughout the purchase process, rather than at just one or two stages. Print advertising made up the bulk of both companies’ budgets, but Company B chose not to put all of its eggs in one advertising basket.
Company A invested 88% of its budget in print, 5% in promotional materials and the rest in seminars, trade shows, direct mail and direct e-mail. Company B spent dramatically less in print—just 57% of its budget—then invested the remaining money first in online advertising, then in varied amounts among trade shows, promotional materials, newsletters, direct mail, direct e-mail and others. Company B’s advertising agency likely researched trends and noted an increased effectiveness of Web-based efforts. That small change resulted in big dividends.
For an effective advertising mix, take Company B’s example and follow these tips:
- Understand that an integrated marketing approach is the most effective use of your advertising budget. Be sure to include an appropriate balance of available media.
- Stay on top of the most recent trends. Today’s technology changes and advances faster than ever before. Don’t be afraid to try something new, like an e-mailed newsletter or an enhancement to your Web site.
- Look to the professionals. Specialization is key in every business and that’s no less true in marketing or advertising planning. Putting the knowledge and experience of a qualified marketing or advertising specialist to work for your business will help you achieve an effective marketing mix and overall better impact with your customer.