Final Thoughts for 2008

Leave a comment

I sit here today with great hope for 2009 and thankful that 2008 will soon be behind us all. It’s been a challenge these past few months to stay focused on anything, but producing results of today. In fact, I think that’s the one thing about this past fall that has been a change for me. I am so used to being able to balance strategic longer term goals and the needs of sales and leads of today. But, that has not been the case since the summer…

My 2009 marketing budget has a different make up then in years past. Typically, I set aside 20% of my budget for innovation and ad hoc program spending. This year’s budget has virtually no ad hoc spending set aside. I have allocated 10% toward creating a greater presence online. Not exactly sure of the results, but that’s all I can afford for innovation spending in 2009…until we all have greater market visibility.

I saw that Chris Brogan forecast a painful market consolidation of the online community software players, which is really needed to create stronger companies and stronger products. My concern is that marketers will sit on the sidelines the first half of 2009 waiting for the strong to be truly identified. Visibility to sufficient funding is surely going to be hard to achieve for virtually all in 2009. It’s hard for anyone to build a profitable business model to compete with Ning, which is virtually free, or KickApps, which has such a low start-up cost.

I think 2009 will be a struggle for any marketer not having a product in the “must have” category or a product that does not have an immediate and quantifiable cost savings. And I’m not talking about “soft savings”. I’m talking hard savings that will have an operational ROI. If you are a “nice to have”, expect your project not to make it past the CFO…

Have a safe new year’s celebration.

Late Marketing Planning for 2009

Leave a comment

The final touches for my 2009 marketing plan are being completed. I do not recall a period where I have been making such changes this late in the planning process. I bet I’m not alone…

I normally start aggressively working on my next year’s plans right after Labor Day. While everyone is focused on delivering a strong Q3, I’m communicating with others to learn about their aspirations and plans for the upcoming year. I’m also trying to get into the heads of senior management about their expectations. From this information, I head into October with a pretty good sense of what the specific needs and expectations are. It has helped me head into the official planning sessions with a pretty good sense of my resources requirements- be that people or marketing spend.

This year though has been different. In November, we decided to revisit each and every element of our marketing plan to make sure we were prepared to make “changes” rapidly in 2009. This thinking has made us juggle some of our spending commitments in a manner that delays certain funding. I wonder if we are alone in this approach.

One thing we decided to do was to not exhibit at any trade shows this upcoming year. I mean zero. I saw a dramatic drop off in attendance at events starting in October… I bet it continues into 09, until people have greater visibility.

The one area that we have greatly increased our spending and efforts is around online engagement. We are planning to focus a lot of our efforts on our partners and customers.

2009 for me is about creating stronger customer engagements via the internet. What about you?

%d bloggers like this: