Thursday, November 5, 2009

Grab change by the horns, and take control

The challenges of planning for 2010 marketing budgets
If, as a marketing or creative professional, you are in the comfy position of having "done more with less" this year and are on track to meet absolutely all your 2009 goals, then perhaps you'll want to simply disregard this article as you breeze into 2010. Cheers to you!

However, if you are like the rest of us -- attempting to reinvent ourselves while working through our strategic planning for 2010 -- then please continue...My guess is that you are among the 99.99% of us who are under pressure to stay ahead of market changes, increased competition and new technologies -- all while dealing with reduced budgets and minimal staff. If we are going to move ahead, we need to take on the challenges with gusto, focus on our planning and consider new alternatives.

Tightened budgets, intensified expectations -- no pressure!
According to a Forrester Research Study published this past July, 71% of global Chief Marketing Officers said their 2009 marketing budgets were less than their 2008 budgets, and more than half reported cuts of 20% or more. While budgets and staff have been cut, the same study noted that CMOs are under intense pressure to deliver results. These results are being measured by increasingly sophisticated online tools which, while offering excellent feedback, add to managers' already full plates with information that requires constant monitoring. All of which leaves little time for the planning and strategy work. Chances are, you are currently planning for 2010, and the challenges are enormous. But, with challenge comes opportunity.

Mired in mid-level planning and implementation, creative and marketing professionals are unable to pursue new strategies that could lead to better results. Consider the Marketing Continuum -- from marketing strategy to measurement. Where do you spend your time? Where should you spend your time?

Try something new. Seek out specialists.
If you spend too much time implementing and not enough time keeping your head up looking at the horizon of change within your market, perhaps it is time to do something different. As an example, the specialties of Creatis reside within marketing planning, creative concepting and implementation -- all within the Marketing Continuum. We look to our clients to drive the marketing strategy -- that is what they were hired to do! The result -- our clients save an average of 40% on our services over traditional agency fees.

Creatis is not alone in offering specialized services. You can find additional specialty agencies that focus on anything from SEO strategy to media buying. They are out there, and they can add precise value to your business.So try something new as you go into next year -- a new medium, a new specialty partner or maybe a new workflow process. If you consider the continuum, and you know where you need to focus your time, then start planning for 2010 today.