Impact Publications : MICEBTN-67-JUNE
MICEBTN - JUNE-AUGUST 2017 • Page 47 Cut your marketing budgets at your peril — invisibility is never a virtue, says Urquhart BEING loud, consistent, different and focused allows marketers to establish and maintain a high-visibility presence in the marketplace, but budgets need to be appropriate to ensure value for money is achieved, writes Barr y Urquhart of Market Focus. For marketers, invisibility is never a virtue. Decisions to cut staff num- bers, overheads and advertising often are taken with little con- sideration of the consequences, which can be immediate, deep, widespread and lasting. That scenario is compounded when there are multiple, similar products, services and applica- tions, each claiming similar fea- tures, benefits and advantages – potentially a boring landscape of sameness. Accordingly, the goals set for and expected of effective marketing sometimes are unat- tainable. Cuts in newspaper, radio, tel- evision and outdoor advertising can cause brand names, prod- ucts and services to simply slip off the customers’ radar. Without consistent, regular or at least periodic exposure to advertising and communica- tions, top-of-mind recall rates can become negligible within weeks. Stop-start advertising also delivers similarly poor patterns in recall, awareness, preference - and cuts cash flows. But even with a constrained or limited budget, impact can be achieved and sustained to high-prospect entities, individuals and groups. One technique is personalised on-sell prop- ositions to customers who have responded to targeted communications. Using these satisfied customers as advocates and ambas- sadors is an art form, utilised by outstanding, high-achieving marketers who use a disci- plined, structured approach to relationship marketing. Moreover, the mentions, references and re- flections by these customers will help counter any drift towards invisibility and commoditisa- tion. In short, a key objective is to become and remain the topic of conversation. Share of mind becomes share of market. Typically that requires a relatively stable schedule of marketing, advertising, public rela- tions, promotions and merchandising. The alternative cutting budgets and resourc- es can be very expensive in terms of losses in marketplace visibility, differentiated market positioning, sales, revenues and profits. THE AUTHOR Barry Urquhart of Marketing Focus is an internationally- respected business strategist, consumer behaviour analyst and conference keynote speaker. Mobile: 041 983 5555 Email: Urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au Web: www.marketingfocus.net.au Scotland to host GeFF THE SECOND edition of the Global Ethical Finance Forum (GEFF) will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland this September 13-14 for leaders from banking, SRI, ESG and Islamic finance from both developed and emerging markets. Based on a strategic partnership with Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC), the Forum will be held under the patronage of the Scottish government and will be hosted by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), building upon the legacy of the inau- gural Forum held in September 2015. The theme ‘Ethical Finance: Merg- ing Profit & Purpose’ is in line with the Forum’s aspiration to serve as a platform of convergence and collaboration across the responsi- ble finance universe and to forge a vision for a more inclusive and sustainable financial system. Venue will be the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBSs) Conference Cen- tre in Edinburgh.