Recession-Proof Marketing

Josh Bernoff and several of his colleagues (including Jeremiah Owyang) at Forrester released a free report today about why interactive marketing can and should withstand a recession.

Of course, a recession is nothing but a period of widespread, sustained decline in economic growth. It’s when times are tight for both you and your customers (donors, constituents, etc.), and are expected to remain so for some time.

Sounds like daily life for most nonprofits, doesn’t it?

So this got me thinking that the message in this report was just as applicable to cash-strapped nonprofits, struggling to reach donors and their dollars, as it was to businesses trying to make prudent plans for some less than exuberant economic times.

Wisely side-stepping the thorny question of whether or not the US is currently heading for, or is already in, a recession, Josh et al provide a brief and compelling case for holding on to your organization’s interactive marketing projects, despite looming budget cuts and customer restraint.

To sum up (and I do recommend you read the report, it’s free and a quick read), interactive marketing:

  • Provides measurable results
  • Costs little to maintain and use
  • Keeps customers engaged, even when they’re not buying

Measurable, inexpensive, and effective. So when you’re looking to trim your marketing budget, it might be wise to treat your social apps investment as meat, and paid advertising as fat.

Why? Because paid advertising is less measurable, more expensive, and less engaging than interactive media.

Sure, you can measure the return on investment in your direct marketing campaign, your annual appeal, your print advertisements. But how high are those numbers? What’s the pennies on the dollar return? And what is the minimum amount necessary to spend in order to achieve results?

This, I think, is a point worth emphasizing, and one that isn’t mentioned in the report. Interactive media has a lower expense-to-return threshold than traditional marketing does. Simply put, it costs less to begin to see a measurable result.

Of course, straitened economics are a daily and persistent reality for most nonprofits. So this report really offers nonprofits a very sound rationale for keeping interactive marketing in the budget even during those periodic downturns in donor activity.

In fact, incorporating a solid core of measurable social apps marketing methods into your nonprofit’s marketing plan becomes nothing less or more than a smart, strategic move in uncertain economic times.

And aren’t they all uncertain economic times?

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4 responses to “Recession-Proof Marketing

  1. Good sound advice for any business. Getting the most bang for your buck in advertising is always parimount, but even more so in “slow economic conditions”.

  2. Thanks for sharing this report. More companies need proof to adopt more interactive marketing tactics. Right now, whether we’re in a recession or not, the fact that interactive marketing is more inexpensive than the paid alternative is one of the strongest arguments. It’s a great way to trim your marketing budget.

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  4. It’s time to get creative. Maybe start selling canned goods or dried noodles. There’s a market out there, but I think walmart might have the bases covered.

    Recession 2009

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