Marketing in a "down" economy

I have a question for you: With the current state of things, right at this very moment, which one of the following would you choose?

What you’re looking at is a campaign (a quick hit in awareness and sales) and a movement (long-term, sustainable growth). Because of what’s currently going on in the world right now, your answer may be different from what it was a year ago. Or maybe not.

A lot of people are wondering what the best use of their marketing dollars are right now. And of course we’re biased, but we tell them to lean on those that love them. Invest in those that love them. And not only will you thrive as we begin to pull out of this mess, but the next time it happens, there will be even more of those fans you can lean on.

And for those of you that are running Superbowl ads this year: are you kidding me? Do you know what kind of movement you could build and how well you could embrace your fans with $3,000,000?!? Or even a fraction of that? Three mil for 30 seconds or three mil for 30 years? With those 30 seconds on Superbowl Sunday, you’re going to raise awareness for your brand. But only for a blip in time. (Can anyone please tell me – off the top of your head – the best 5 Superbowl ads two years ago? A year ago?) If you took that money and invested it in a movement, not only would you raise awareness (yes, over time), but you’d also get that beautiful thing that your Superbowl ad can’t give you: credibility.

Same goes for you, brands that run infomercials (I’m talkin’ to you, Tempur-Pedic). Dropping a lot of money for a flash in the pan vs. spending less and it lasting much, much, much longer.

I can see how we’ve been brainwashed to want those short-term fixes. Because how can marketers begin to care about their fans when they have to spend so much time covering their own asses? Like all things that are worth your time, they take time. And commitment. And hard work. There’s not a lot that’s easy about igniting movements. But good god, the rewards are non-stop on so many levels.

So what’s your choice? There are pros and cons to each side, but I do believe it’s pretty obvious what camp we’re in.  They say that marketing and PR is built on relationships. Unfortunately there are plenty of BAD relationships out there. The ones that are beneficial for both sides (and last through thick and thin) are the relationships that you invest yourself in.

Rant over.

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