The Positive Side of Smaller Marketing Budgets

Many marketers have been feeling the strain this year as their budgets and resources have come under increased pressure and increased scrutiny from senior management. But achieving more with less is not impossible, and can actually have some positive effects…

Budget cuts and recessionary demands have resulted in more businesses focusing on marketing accountability and measurement, as well as improved collaboration between marketing and other organizational departments (i.e. finance), according to the fifth annual Marketing Accountability Survey.

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and Marketing Management Analytics (MMA) study spoke to 95 senior-level marketers over the summer. Although the small sample size should be noted, some interesting findings include:

  • Three-quarters of respondents reported a decrease in their 2009 marketing budget.
  • Two-thirds agreed that marketers are now being expected to drive more sales with the same or lower budget.
  • One-third says their teams now include representation from marketing, finance and research (up significantly from 22% in 2008), with 38% stating that marketing and finance departments share common metrics (up significantly from 27% last year), and 20% now claiming that strategy is developed jointly (up significantly from 9%).
  • 92% of companies surveyed are taking steps to improve marketing effectiveness without spending more. Measures employed include:
    • Shifting from ‘traditional’ to digital media (70%).
    • Shifting advertising investment away from brand-building initiatives and towards promotional marketing (53%).
    • Moving advertising into lower-cost media, e.g. local TV spots instead of national and 15-second slots instead of 30-second ones (38%).

Almost half (46%) of respondents are satisfied with the impact of their marketing efforts on sales/ROI, twice as high a response as last year. The survey also highlighted a greater appreciation of marketing efforts by senior management.

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