When recession bites into marketing budgets, do more with less

05 September 2018 | Web Article Number: ME201811627

Commerce & Trade

WITH South Africa is officially in a recession, companies across the country are likely looking for places where they can trim their budgets. Marketing is, almost inevitably, one of the first departments to feel the impact of these cuts.

Fortunately, technology means that it really is now possible for marketing departments to do more with less. That’s according Shaune Jordaan, CEO of digital media consultancy Hoorah Digital and former executive at advertising giant Publicis.

“It’s totally understandable that companies would want to slash their marketing budgets in a time recession,” he said. “Traditional advertising campaigns are expensive and most of the time of the agencies behind them can’t demonstrate any real business impact.”

That’s bad enough when there’s money to spare, but it’s outright dangerous when times are tough, he warned, adding that it’s at this point that digital marketing comes into its own.

A traditional TV ad might cost millions of Rands to produce and not much less to flight across a selection of channels. And while you can take an educated guess at which channels your target audience will be watching at what times, you can’t guarantee that they’ll see it.

“For a fraction of the cost, you can film five incredible YouTube videos and spend the rest on ensuring that your product is seen by people who are actually likely to buy it,” Jordaan said.

He cited the example of Hoorah Digital’s work for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in South Africa which recently launched a new clothing range and ecommerce store without spending a cent on traditional media.

“Done properly, digital marketing also gives companies a much clearer picture of what messaging is working and what isn’t, further saving the company money,” Jordaan said.

“In a recession, better campaigns are more important than ever. But that shouldn’t mean companies having to blow out the bank.”

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