Are Marketers Really Prepared for the Recession?


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Ginger Conlon over at the Think Customers:1to1 Blog has posted the results of an interesting survey she carried out about what marketers think the recession will bring. The results are interesting but at the same time very troubling.

  • 31% of marketers think their budget will increase, whilst 31% expect it to decrease
  • 14% expect the size of the marketing organisation to increase, whilst only 8% of them expect it to decrease
  • 69% expect to increase their spending on social marketing, followed by email (68%) and search marketing (50%)
  • 44% expect to decrease their spending on print, folowed by direct mail(33%) and trade shows(28%)
  • the highest priority is building customer engagement, followed by lead generation and building awareness

The marketers surveyed do not seem to realise that the world around them is going to systemically change. Probably for the worse over the next 2-3 years. That means tighter budgets, tighter markets and much tighter profit margins.

The verbatim responses she quotes in her post and the general tenor of the survey seems to be that marketers can just continue to do more or less what they have always done. And sit and wait until the recession has gone away before returning to business as usual.

These myopic marketers are very much mistaken. Business as usual is probably not coming back this time. Marketers must ply their trade much better than they have to date. By all means spend more on marketing, but do it more effectively by focussing on proven marketing instruments, more productively by targeting specific customers with the right message at the right time, more accountably by being tough about measuring results and acting on them, and more efficiently by cutting spending on marketing that doesn’t deliver the required results.

The world needs BETTER marketing not just more of the same. But the survey makes me wonder whether the current generation of marketers is really up to it.

What do you think? Can we rely upon today’s marketers? Or do difficult times require new blood in marketing?

Post a comment or email me at graham(dot)hill(at)web(dot)de and get the conversation going.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager

Further Reading:
Ginger Conlon, Changes to Marketing Spending and Strategy Coming in 2009

Graham Hill (Dr G)
Business Troubleshooter | Questioning | Thoughtful | Industrious | Opinions my own | Connect with me on LinkedIn


  1. I see that Ginger has followed up on her original survey asking by respondents how they intend to improve their marketing.

    The responses certainly make interesting reading. You should read them too (and then add your own comment).

    Graham Hill
    Independent CRM Consultant
    Interim CRM Manager


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