Searching for Solutions in a Challenging Economy

Posted by Michael Kahn, VP Account Management and Marketing

Over the last quarter the macroeconomic news has not been good. Fewer housing starts. Lower home values. Declining auto sales. Stalled retail sales. Rising gasoline costs. Are consumers optimistic? Not so much.

Whether defined as an “official” recession or not, we can all agree that the economy has slowed.

But, as marketers, we still have numbers to make and year on year growth to achieve. For the clients we serve and prospects we pitch, we need to outpace the general malaise.  In this economy, every action and every dollar counts so we need to make sure we are focusing on the most important strategies and tactics. The ones that drive business profitably.

A prioritization method we follow is called Return on Energy and we have used it to successfully pinpoint what we should be working on. Using a numerical plotting system, we review all possible marketing activities and plot them on a matrix with Return on one axis and Effort on the other.  Through this critical exercise, we end up with digital marketing activities bucketed in four quadrants:

High Return/Low Effort (low hanging fruit!)

High Return/High Effort

Low Return/Low Effort

Low Return/High Effort

With client agreement, we move quickly ahead and focus on all High Return/Low Effort activities. And start longer term planning for High Return/High Effort activities. Most importantly, we table all Low Return efforts until further notice.

The digital marketing and media landscape is becoming increasingly complicated all the time.  With new opportunities in paid search, natural search, mobile, social and video bubbling up. But, we all have limited resources, hours and full-time employees so we have pick our battles carefully. Especially in tough times.

The solution…do more of what works for your brand and less of what doesn’t. And make sure you are taking decisive action to do so.

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