The pressure to reduce spending to save cash will be immense. Rather than wait for the mandate to cut marketing dollars, take these proactive steps.
Ensure that you have an effective message. An effective message is relevant, focused, and contains no distractions that are sometimes called “creative license.” Your market is searching for an unadorned reason to join your club. Give it to them as clearly and directly as possible.
By fine-tuning your message, you should be able to reduce media dollars. For example, if you can make your message 20% more powerful, you can reduce media by up to 20% and stay even. Though highly subjective, this can be a major source of freeing-up funds.
Identify areas in which to reduce print production costs, such as paper size, weight and coatings for direct mailings and other printed materials. Combine production runs for multiple events. Avoid the trap of over-ordering to drive down the cost per piece; unused inventory is a total waste of funds.
Consider more email communication and fewer mailings.
Re-Balance Your Member Activities to Personal Communication
Acquiring new members is expensive and can consume significant marketing dollars. In an economic meltdown, your most productive strategy may be to minimize member attrition. One of the best ways to retain members is to talk to them personally- recognize their importance to the club, appreciate their support, and find new ways to take care for them that cannot be found anywhere else.
You have probably heard the marketing “wisdom” that marketing spending should never be cut during a slowdown. This may or may not be accurate, and marketing professionals should be prepared to argue the merits of spending during weak periods. However, the business reality is that it often does get cut, whether you believe it should or should not. So, don’t fall on your sword over maintaining spending; support it if is justified, but, more importantly, help your club find the solution it thinks is best. Identifying ways to cut costs is one of these.
Taking this step will yield this benefit – you will be seen as a problem-solver who rises above departmental myopia, and this will help you to be invited into the Boardroom more often.
How are you coping with the economic meltdown? How are you saving marketing funds?