Marketing Budget Cuts, Really?

So these last few months have been extremely hard on the advertising industry and on me personally.  No matter where you turn it seems everyone is talking about the horrible economy, and about how to avoid a depression.

Sorry, but when people sound hopeful about avoiding a depression, that still does not help instill confidence.

Given this news, many of my clients have asked to cut their budgets in the last few weeks.  Below is a list of reason they have given for cutting their budgets, and what my colleges and I have said in response.  (remember we specialize in retail advertising so the answers and questions lean that way.)

1. We can cut budget and keep our share of voice, because our competitors have cut budget – Our goal has never been share of voice, but share of mind.   We want XX% of people to think of your brand for XX product.

2. Let's cut for just a little bit and see what happens – The ramifications of cutting marketing spend are not instantaneous.  If I cut budget one week, my sales may not drop to the next etc., plus it may take some time to gain back the level of awareness we once had.

3.Spend to Sales is out of proportion - Let's look at the numbers based on the long term not month to month, and figure out our best long terms marketing goals.

I wish I could tell you these all worked, but of course they did not.  Some cut, some did not, and more will cut in the future.   No matter how many blogs we read that tell us now is not the time for an aggressive advertiser to cut budget,  we all know it will happen anyway.

Let's use this time not to complain or whine.  Let's use this time to think more strategically, and try to get the most out of every dollar we do have.  What have you wanted to do with your marketing, that now might be a good time to try?