Welcome to the Kleber & Associates blog! Invest in Marketing Home Products and Budget Despite Challenging Economic Times  Here’s the latest…

One of the best ways to gain market share and create a strengthened competitive edge during difficult economic times is to sustain, and even better, increase your marketing budget. I know this “invest in the future” message sounds convenient coming from a marketing agency guy like me…so instead consider what CFOs and CMOs from the client side argue.
86.1 percent of CFOs either maintained or increasedtheir marketing budgets from the previous year, according to a 2008 study conducted by Financial Executives International (FEI) and Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. What’s more, 23 percent of those CFOs surveyed said they actually increased their marketing/advertising budget as a response to the economic downturn. Why?
(1) Gain superior market presence
According to a survey titled “The Evolved CMO” which surveyed 132 chief and senior marketers from $100M + companies, the number one ranked marketing objective (nearly 60 percent of those surveyed) was to “acquire new customers.” Nearly 50 percent said “increasing brand awareness” was a top marketing objective. If you decrease your marketing budget, how are your potential customers going to find you?
(2) Surpass sales projections
If you’re looking to hit a specific sales goal next year, marketing will only aid in that effort. Like sales and distribution and product development, marketing is a vital element if you wish to grow your company. I like to use the analogy of a three-legged stool. A stool won’t stand by itself if all three legs aren’t working together. Keep in mind the symbiotic relationship between the three legs—sales, marketing and product innovation.
(3) Develop customer understanding
Having a clear understanding of the attitudes, buying patterns, lifestyle motivators and the demographic makeup of your target market or potential future targets is one of the most beneficial uses of your marketing dollars. It is also key to understand the influencing factors in the buying decisions of these groups. According to “The Evolved CMO” survey, “customer trends and research” ranked the highest in terms of importance to a marketing campaign’s future success.
(4) Pursue leadership of the game
If you fail to market your product and service during a harsh economic period, what you’ll lose is precious market share to your more aggressive competitors. A strategic marketing campaign isn’t an expense – it’s an investment in your brand’s future.
(5) Maximize beneficial marketing tools
Marketing isn’t just about delivering your message via print, radio or television media advertising. Today there are many facets to a strategic marketing campaign that include a host of mediums: podcasts, RSS feeds, chat rooms, social networking and search engine optimization. As technology progresses, so should your marketing budget. Declining budgets garner declining results particularly when your competitors are moving forward.
Think of your brand as a plant. Just like a plant, you want your brand to grow, right? Then why would you stop watering it?