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Advertising; Save Money, Live Better

  BlueTone Media

"Save Money, Live Better" , Wal-Mart knows how to capitalize during a down economy.  In 2002 it became the world's largest corporation with the help of its "Every Day Low Prices" campaign.  This was shortly after 911.  "The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time." - David Ogilvy (known as "Father of Advertising") The American Business Press book "How Advertising in Recession Periods Affects Sales" states: "Cutting advertising appropriations in times of economic downturns can result in both immediate and long-term negative effects on sales and profit levels."  In another study of U.S. recessions, McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 companies from 1980 through 1985.  The results showed that business that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession, averaged significantly higher sales growth than those that eliminated or decreased advertising.  By 1985, sales of companies that were aggressive advertisers had risen 256% over those that didn't keep up their advertising.

So, what now? What do you do since your not Wal-Mart, McDonalds or Microsoft.  First, take an assessment of your business and where you stand.  Look for any weakness in your current business plans or holes in your current marketing strategy.  It is critical to make sure your advertising budget is spent wisely, creating a marketing strategy that appeals to consumers based on the current economic environment.  For example, the home improvement store Home Depot, has focused it ads on purchasing products that are energy efficient and how much money that will save the consumer.  Home Depot is offering free in-store training for their consumers with easy "How-to's" around the house that will save them money.  Now is a great time to create your unique selling position(USP).  Where to invest your advertising budget?  People spend more time at home during times of economic uncertainty, it's a safe bet that people will be watching more television and surfing the internet.  In 2006 global spending increased from $18.7 billion to $24.9 billion , making internet the fourth largest advertising medium, surpassing radio.  The TMP Directional Marketing/comScore Local Search Usage Study measured where consumers turn to first when looking for local business information.
  • Search engines: 31%
  • Print yellow pages: 30%
  • Internet yellow pages: 19%
  • Local search: 11%
  • Newsapaper/magazines: 3%
No surprise that search engines were at the top of this list.  It is important to make sure ad dollars are spent and placed in mediums that will yield the best results, be the most cost efficient and deliver the maximum on investment.  Advertising can skillfully reposition a product to take advantage of new buying concerns,give an advertiser a stable image in a chaotic environment, and give an advertiser the chance to dominate the advertising media.

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