Since everyone these days is feeling the pinch of tightening their budgets, businesses are typically thinking about cutting back their marketing expenses. The problem with this “solution” is that businesses rarely consider the difference in types of marketing and don’t understand why they should invest in search engine optimization or web marketing. Companies want proof that the marketing efforts can get results and web marketing is one of the best ways to accomplish  that.

The typical approach of standard marketing is simple: advocate the company’s product or message in as many settings as financially possible and attract people who are interested. This explains TV commercials, radio ads, billboards, magazine ads, vehicle graphics, and “junk mail”. However, the problem with traditional marketing is when the interested demographic shrinks, the advertising becomes less effective. It’s a simple matter of numbers. If you advertise to 1,000 people and 50 are interested in your product, the other 950 were a loss financially. If your interested group shrinks to 10, then 990 were a loss. Many companies just can’t justify that kind of loss in a poor economy.

Web marketing has a different strategy: attract only the interested people who are already looking for your product or service through keywords. When a potential customer searches for “computer fixes” for example, having your business’ ad pop up will put you that much further ahead towards making a sale because the customer is already primed and ready to buy. In a poor economy, having a smaller amount of interested people doesn’t matter as much for web marketing because it only attracts people who are interested in your product or service. Let’s look at the numbers here. If you have 50 people search for your keywords, then you’ve potentially made fifty sales. If that number drops to 10, you’ve made less sales, but not because your advertising was less effective. There is simply much less wastefulness with web advertising and web marketing strategies such as SEO.

So web marketing is generally more cost effective than traditional marketing. The economy is still poor and you have to make cuts somewhere. So what do you do?  Well, what ever you do, do not make these cuts in your marketing expenditure.   Cutting your marketing budget in a downturn economic situation is one of the biggest mistakes a company can make. Why? Because it is only a short-term solution that actually makes your product or service much weaker in the long-term. Hamish Pringle, Director General of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, says “It’s all too easy to make a snap judgment about a discretionary budget like advertising but the reality is that short-term gain leads to long-term damage to the brand, and the cost of recovery is three to four times greater than the saving made.”  Well said… the moral of the story here is that marketing is a key component for a business to survive in any economy, but in a recession it is absolutely vital!

Do you agree or disagree?  Perhaps, I missed something?  Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!

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