Marketing Idea #2: What is Your Marketing Budget?

Marketing Ideas Marketing Budget

Set aside money for marketing efforts each year. Don’t use it for anything else. Often, we have a tendency to pull our marketing funds from the same pool of money as our operating funds. This habit can reduce an organization’s ability to market itself when the time is right. Be especially protective of your marketing budget; this is the investment that pays the bills.

Below, I’ve reposted a brief article by the Wall Street Journal which discusses the success of companies who remain steady in their marketing efforts, even in the face of a recession. Folks, if this can’t convince you to invest in your own marketing efforts, I don’t know what will.

In support of your efforts,


marketing ideas Google Analytics divider

The Basic Argument for Advertising in a Recession

from The Wall Street Journal (publication information unknown)
View the original article

When times turn bad, they’re made worse by hesitation, halfway measures, and panicky decisions. Such as the decision to reduce or eliminate advertising. The fact is, companies that maintain or increase their advertising spending during recessions get ahead. A less crowded field allows messages to be seen more clearly, and that increased visibility results in higher sales both during and after a recession.

Recessionary Advertising Works

Studies by the American Business Press examined the relationship between advertising and sales in 143 companies during the severe 1974/75 downturn. They found that companies that did not cut advertising either year had the highest growth in sales and the net income during the two study years and the following two years. The studies also proved that companies that cut advertising during both years had the lowest sales and net-income increases during the two study years and the following two years.

And not surprisingly, companies that cut advertising during only one of the recession years had sales and net-income increases that fell in between.

Long-Term Benefits

A study by McGraw-Hill of both the 1974/75 and 1981/82 recessions confirmed the long-range advantage of keeping a strong advertising presence. It found that companies that cut advertising in 1981/82 increased sales by only 19% between 1980 and 1985, while companies that continued to advertise in 1981/82 enjoyed a 275% sales increase.

An industry-specific study published by the Harvard Business Review found that airlines that increased their advertising expenditure during 1974/75 increased sales and market share in both years, while airlines that cut advertising in both years lost sales and share both years.

The results of all three studies are consistent, clear and unequivocal: Those companies that advertise during a recession have better sales than those companies that don’t.

The way to minimize a downturn and take maximum advantage of the upturn is to maintain a strong communications link with your buying public.

Marketing Idea #7: Start Joking Around

Marketing Ideas Use Humor

Use humor in regard to your product or service. Poke fun at yourself and get your message across at the same time. Humor relaxes us. It invites us to let down our guard and have fun. If you associate your brand with a Jester brand archetype (also known as the Fool or Joker archetype,) you are likely already doing this.

Example: Dental offices are famous for providing dental floss during Halloween trick-or-treating fun. Instead, why not send your clients fake hillbilly teeth as a reminder to maintain good dental hygiene during sweet holidays? For promotional thrust, have your office’s logo and contact info printed on any giveaways.

For Your Entertainment

Target Marketing: Speak Directly to Your Target Audience

The other day, I stumbled across an ad that caught my attention. The ad was for Careers 2.0, a site dedicated to programmers and the programming industry. What I found remarkable about this ad was the laser-fine focus it possessed. This ad was so specific about its target audience, there could be no mistake. Before I continue further, here is the ad:

Marketing Ideas Careers Ad

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I saw this ad, I arrived at several conclusions:

  1. Its message has something to do with your job; thus the “Your Job.”
  2. It’s an ad promoting a job website of some kind. Maybe that’s what “Careers 2.0” is supposed to mean, right?
  3. The ad is written in HTML code; the basic markup language of the Internet. This is deduced by the use of the paragraph open and close tags (e.g. <p>, </p>).
  4. Now—and maybe this is a reflection on me—but my first assumption is that they’re saying something profane. I imagined something that rhymed with “Crew Your Job” or “Muck Your Job” written in the ASCII version of cartoon curse-squigglies. (Yes, it’s a technical term, “curse-squigglies”.)
  5. The ad is targeting programmers (who may still have to look up “&#x2665;”). Sure, other web folk may be caught like I was. This is definitely geek speak for something, but what?

The ad presented a mystery! To solve the puzzle, it was easy enough; just do a Google search on

&#x2665; html codes

and you’ll be able to discern very quickly that the ad actually reads:

♥ Your Job

As in, “Love Your Job”.

Awww. That was much better than what I was thinking. (Maybe I should talk to a professional about this?)


There you have it: an ad so targeted, you actually have to decode it to read it. In fact, you not only have to decode it, but you have to recognize it as code to begin with, which will be a barrier for a good-sized segment of the population. Of course, if it’s a barrier, it’s a good bet those folks are not the target market.

Not only did this ad compel me to stop what I was doing and research its meaning, but now I’m writing about it and sharing my experience with you. Obviously, this ad appeals to the web-oriented problem-solvers among us. If you like conquering riddles like a pirate on a treasure hunt, this ad was meant for you.

Marketing Challenge

What can you do to communicate with your target market on such a core level that you’re able to speak their native language to the exclusion of the rest of the world?