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Three Marketing Don’ts Even If Budgets Are Tight

Via Forbes : Three Marketing Don’ts Even If Budgets Are Tight

Is your budget tight? A logical choice might be to view marketing as a variable expense. Just ask the marketing folks to do more for less.

Don’t fall into that trap.

“There’s a point where more-for-less is mathematically unattainable,” says marketing expert Denise Kohnke. “But marketing departments have been squeezed, squeezed, squeezed as CFOs and CEOs inappropriately view marketing as a classic variable expense rather than a seed for short and long-term revenue growth.”

Kohnke is author of All of the Other Marketing Books Are Crap. Now that’s a provocative title (and as the author of some of those other marketing books, I say well played). She is the founder and CEO of the marketing firm House United LLC. Based on the title, it is not surprising the book is packed with advice delivered with edgy, sharp-witted humor.

Here are three marketing don’ts excerpted from Kohnke’s book:

  1. Don’t Expect Old Strategies to Bring the Same Returns. “It’s human nature to make improvements on what was done in the past as a means of moving forward,” says Kohnke. “But when budgets are stretched in marketing—as the costs of media and services rise, and the number of options available to communicate with prospects balloons—you can’t tweak the same thing you did last year and expect anything with double digits other than loss. You have to tear up your plan and start over with new strategies to spend the money.”
  2. Don’t Fail to Conduct Strategic Planning. “Strategic planning in its most formal form is a solid basis for the infrastructure of thought that can be applied to any problem-solving exercise,” says Kohnke. “So, learn this process first and then scale it for campaign planning, operations planning, and any old meeting you need to have when you have to figure out a solution with multiple people whom you dislike. This process can be used for planning a wedding, political campaign, new product launch, or a junket to Mars. Seriously. It’s how to think in its most diamond-like brilliant form.”
  3. Don’t Skip Writing a Brief Based on Your Information. “The most important thing you can do with this strategic planning information is write a brief,” advises Kohnke. “Everyone in advertising has an opinion on the brief, which is why there isn’t any right or wrong recommendation here. Since the beginning of advertising time, there are as many briefs as stars in the sky. Is one brighter than the other? Construct a brief format that’s right for you and your team.”

Kohnke has directed brand development for more than 100 organizations in her 25-plus years in advertising and marketing. She was the strategist behind the 2012 Effie award-winning campaign “No One Deserves To Die” for Lung Cancer Alliance.

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