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Spoiltchild Design

How to spend your marketing and ad budget

In the Sunday Business Post a few weeks ago was a large advertorial for a company I recognised but have never had any contact with.
It was a puff piece that had no actual news but discussed how great the company was doing, from the lows of a few years ago to the current amazing growth and business etc…

Coincidentally I bumped into someone who used to work for this company until they had to let a few people go during their low.
As someone who still keeps in contact with her old work mates she painted a totally different picture of the companies current status.
The company is still going downhill and things are obviously getting desperate. So I couldn’t understand why they would go to the huge expense of getting this full page puff piece written and accompanying advertising.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe that when business is bad you don’t start cutting your sales, design and advertising budget. You see over and over again that when economies go bad its actually the companies who put more into their marketing that eventually pull through. They emerge as market leader among their competitors who cut the spending in these areas because they did not see the direct return on their books. “If we make x products, pay y people to make them then profit = z, but wait, whats this spend on design over there? Where is the profit in that?”

Strangely the same week I got into a conversation with the ex employee I got talking to a seasoned veteran in the business world who is currently starting his 10th business. He joked that some of the first signs of a business on its way out is when the Guy in charge buys a new top of the line car and the reception gets refurbished.

So when business is bad you need to ramp up marketing and advertising, good. However you need to plan it carefully, look for different methods to get the same results and spend your money wisely.

Press advertising is not the only outlet and it does not suit every type of business. If a client come to me to get an advert designed for a newspaper or magazine, if I can see it will do nothing for the business I will tell them. I am not turning away business but infact advising them that there are other alternatives.

So where is this leading?
Today I came across this great article and diagram from Creating Passionate Users where they break down your marketing options and alternatives.

In most options listed the alternatives offer a much better ROI.
Except where it says don’t use a designer! Or a PR person or a marketing person :)
As in everything these wont work for everyone but what it does demonstrate is that thinking about what you are doing and trying to achieve is more important then chucking money at it.

  1. Haha! Snap is right Alan – although you beat me to it!!!

    Great minds think alike and all that. Updated it now to note your ‘scooping’ it for Ireland!

    Talking about this – – for anyone not in on the joke!
    Ed Byrne    Nov 1, 02:58 PM    #
  2. Almost all successful modern businesses have a customer-focussed product development cycle where they carefully research what their customers actually want before developing a product. What you are advocating here is an introverted, product-focussed approach. Shall I send the DeLorean back to the eighties to fetch you now?
    Mr Ming    Nov 3, 09:47 AM    #
  3. “where they carefully research what their customers actually want before developing a product”

    Mmm, DeLorean…
    That’s probably why they are successful. Unfortunitly that is a smaller percentage.
    What i am advocating is stopping before you spend and think through all the alternatives before proceeding.
    Alan    Nov 3, 09:59 AM    #