Magazine article Marketing

How to Budget out of the Recession

Magazine article Marketing

How to Budget out of the Recession

Article excerpt

How to budget out of the recession

Marketing's "Making the most of your budget" conference had agency and marketing heads claiming the secret of success during a slump There's nothing like hard times for starting a riot, and well-shod marketers showed that even they were not above getting involved in a recession-induced scuffle at the Institute of Directors last week.

Delegates from companies such as Bass, Midland Bank and Calvin Klein flocked to the Marketing/Century Communications Conference, "Making the most of your marketing budget", to hear representatives from advertising, design, PR, sales promotion and television sales battle it out as they argued the value of their services.

Tim Shepherd-Smith, general manager marketing British Airways, and Kevin Morley, managing director of Rover Cars, urged simplicity and creativity in squeezing the maximum from available funds. "We needed to zig when everyone else was zagging," said Shepherd-Smith of its World's Biggest Offer promotion. At Rover, marketing strategy has to lead the company strategy, "or it is a waste of money," claimed Morley. It also has to be flexible to be effective.

Making money go further has shot to the top of everyone's priority list as a result of straightened times. Should above-the-line advertising be maintained at all costs, or would a switch below-the-line be wiser? How accountable are the different disciplines and what can they achieve? What are the clues to gaining most from your marketing budget?

In the pro-advertising camp, Danielle Barr, chairman of ad agency Publicis, argued that a recession is precisely the time when advertising can bring the most rewards. A little "finessing", such as stretching a brand's equity to new products and emphasising value for money, can make it work even better.

More immediately, Richard Hall, chief executive of rival agency FCO, pointed to topicality and humour in ads as a way to multiply the power of budgets. …

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