Tag Archives: recession

stone soup

image by flickr.com/mtsofan

image by flickr.com/mtsofan

Tonight I came home starving.  I opened all the cabinets, peered into the fridge, looked out on the porch for any forgotten, orphaned root vegetables, and eventually came up with a delicious meal that mainly involved left-over chicken tenderloins and egg noodles.

Now, I used to be a professional chef.  I can do the Iron Chef thing with the best of them.  But I’ll admit that I usually would prefer to be able to buy the freshest produce, the best cut of meat, the obscure fresh herb or seasoning that makes a dish really rock — and often makes it an official “secret” recipe.

But in hard times, I can’t.  I need to rely more on noodles and ramen, less on nori and rabe.

When I put together a marketing plan, especially under restricted financial circumstances, it’s the same issue.  How can I best allocate these (extremely) limited resources to achieve the best possible result?

That’s why social media marketing is something that can really shine in a recession.  Done right, done thoughtfully, it can wring more value out of a marketing dollar than traditional means can.

Better yet, it can be done with assets that you may already have in your kitchen organization.

Look in your cupboards: what do you find?

  • An employee knowledgeable about how to engage your customers on Twitter?
  • An employee who can write a blog on a consistent basis?
  • Awareness that your market segment is active on one or more social networks?
  • A little bit of time?
  • A little bit of willingness?

Sounds like soup to me.

I’ve written about this before, back in February, when things didn’t look nearly as grim as they do today, and when the Interactive Marketing team at Forrester Research published a free report titled Strategies for Interactive Marketing in a Recession.

In short, the report maintains that interactive marketing:

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

Check it out.  It still stands up, even all these horrific months later.

Give it some thought.

What ingredients do you have on hand?

What flavors will work magic for you?

What kind of soup can YOU make?


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?