Mid-market companies need to be patient and strategic to compete with their national rivals.
National companies make billions and often spend hundreds of millions, sometimes even billions on advertising. It’s obviously paying off or they wouldn’t continue to allocate as much as they do to this budget category. That’s fine when your pockets are that deep. They can afford to spend so heavily in every category that eventually some of their methods will prove successful. But how about regional companies that can’t afford to buy that much media and concentrate their efforts in every area of marketing, what should they do?
The best answer maybe to slow down. Yes, that’s right. In a world that is moving faster than ever, in an environment that wants media to be as scientific as Einstein’s theory of relativity, maybe slowing down and analyzing and prioritizing what ails your company and then formulating a plan to address each of these concerns over an extended timeframe, instead of all at once is the best medicine.
It’s completely understandable that CEO’s and CMO’s want to tackle everything as quickly as possible but I often see companies with limited resources attempt to be in so many outlets and mediums with a limited budget that there isn’t enough force behind any initiative to make a positive impact. I tell my staff it’s like having one pat of butter and spreading it so thinly on to many slices of bread that you can ‘t taste the butter on any of them. In the end, you just wasted the butter.
Traditional media seems to be under attack to a degree and much of it is dismissed by many as if it were passé’. While traditional media has its issues and isn’t always the best solution it’s also been overwhelmed by the ground swell that targeted digital ads and communication will fix everything.
Regional companies need to be very leery of an agency that insists that digital will cure what ails you, because many of them are just listening to the snake oil salesman, the digital pusher, the digital companies themselves.
How often do agencies stop to think about the existence of 1.7B websites in the US with more than 200M being active daily? Very few, I venture to guess. So, the nay-sayers would suggest just using the top ten sites. The usual suspects. However, those sites continue to increase their advertising opportunities creating more noise on their sites which drives up revenues for them and forces a client to either increase their spend to be heard or find it drowned out by so many other squawking at the consumer at the same time.
I’m not suggesting one medium over another, nor am I suggesting that digital is all bad and traditional is good. What I am stating is that a regional company should prioritize its ailments and then prioritizes the best couple of advertising outlets that can address that consumer group properly. Then they will be able to spend more effort and resources on that issue until they have resolved it.
Once that initiative is completed or well underway, then move onto the next issue and using the same process, do it again and again until most of the list is gone. Don’t worry, you won’t run out of issues. In business there are always new issues.
However, what you may find is in the course of a few years you will have removed most of the issues from your plate and made room for other ones. Which is much better than biting off more than you can chew each year, choking on it and after a few years realizing you resolved none of them and your plate and cup has overflowed!