recession Archives - d.trio marketing group

The aftermath of recession marketing:

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How low can you go? I’m not talking the Limbo here. No – I’m talking about marketing campaigns (digital, direct, email and emerging media) that were created, launched and sent out in 2009, internationally. From what I’ve seen recently the answer is – very.

I just spent the week judging entries to the International ECHO Awards, the DMA’s highly respected marketing awards. Unfortunately, it was a dismal reflection of, and reminder of how hard the recession has been on marketing in general.

Six years of judging top marketing campaigns from all over the world has spoiled me. The groundbreaking campaigns that use new and traditional marketing channels brilliantly are inspiring. Spending days perusing the best and the brightest charges me up and gives me energy to go back and kick up the creativity in my job.

But this year was different.

Marketing is not dead, but it didn’t flourish in 2009. There were bright spots, sure and we reveled in them. And I know there were cuts. But budgets don’t dictate smart thinking. The recession not only knocked-out budgets, but apparently creativity, risk-taking and pride-in-work were also down for the count.

Bring back great marketing ideas.

As we move toward the middle of 2010, I hope you’ll strive to help the world turn marketing into the smart, creative pursuit it needs to be. Generate new ideas, try new things, test what you are doing, ask for feedback and get away from the “we did it last year so it must be ok” thinking. If you need a reason, here’s some food for thought:

·     Big ideas help cut through the clutter of 5,000 messages we receive every day

·     Me-too marketing dooms you to looking like your competitors

·     Creativity tied to smart strategies is the antidote to me-too marketing

In the end we judged and approved enough entries that could be winners. And, some of the entries that were very creative and willing to take a chance did inspire me. But I want to get the word out, and please help me spread it – this year, 2010, we all need to make a pact not to let fear keep us from doing our best work. Are you with me?

What break-through trends do you see in marketing?  Share with us your insights and creative thoughts – we’d love to hear what your experience has been, here or at our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/dtrio

photoNew York in the spring time

2010 Resolution follow up #1 – Stop Hiding

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You’re really going to have to make things happen for your company, and for job security this year. The depression may be over but the recession is slow to move. So things are not back to normal (whatever that is or will be) – it’s not as scary as it sounds, but you do have to act.

Visibility rocks
Have you made your marketing plan for 2010 yet? We’re more than a month in and your plans should be shaping up. I hope everyone has stopped hiding because that’s the first step. Don’t try to be invisible this year, plan to stand out.  And that means you will have to take some risks. Nothing’s accomplished – besides mediocrity – without taking risks. And, mediocrity does not sell products and/or serve your customers well. Plan to take smaller steps on a regular basis; it makes big challenges seem smaller.

So look at your company and see what differentiates it and start talking. Whether you choose new media (social media, blogging, email, etc.) or traditional media (TV, Radio, Direct Marketing, print, etc.) as your vehicle, you have to get out there and make some noise. If you haven’t changed your marketing creative in 2 years, it’s time to create a challenger. If you don’t have a budget, it’s time be an advocate for one.

Do you have a niche product or service? Those are perfect for the direct contact media such as email and direct marketing (not to mention social).

  • Build your opt-in email list on your Web site so you can communicate with people who are interested in your company.
  • Create a helpful white paper or
  • Develop offers for popular products and services to drive traffic to your Web site or store location.
  • Buy a specialty list and send some postcards or mini-catalogs out that showcase your unique products or services to people who are interested.

Here are some resources to help you: For new media – http://www.marketingsherpa.com/ and for a mix of old media and new – http://www.the-dma.org/index.php

2010 holds opportunities for all of us. We just have to go after them! And, please share with us what you’ve decided to do.

How to job-search in a hostile economy

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Lately I’ve been asked for advice on what to do to find a job in marketing in a down economy. I too graduated in a recession where too many people were vying for too few jobs. I’m one of the lucky ones – eventually I found what I love to do. I have the benefit of hindsight on what can be a frustrating job search and situation. So, I’ve reflected on some key things that I think make a difference when you are starting out (or out of a job) during a recession.

Learn something. It’s a recession. There are very few jobs out there – much less dream jobs waiting for you to arrive on the scene. So you may have to just find a job that will help pay the bills (or work for free at an internship). Even a job you don’t like can help you develop skills and understand your strengths and weaknesses.

Volunteer. There is a lot of need out there for volunteers at various levels in different organizations. This is also a great way to build business skills and network. Never underestimate the power of a great network.

Stand out. What makes you different and better than the next candidate? Show your stuff, but be yourself. If you are inauthentic it will show.

Be resilient. Sure it can be depressing to be in a job that is no longer working for you or to be out of a job altogether, but if you are early in your career, it won’t be the last time you encounter adversity. People who bounce back are the most successful in the long run.  You don’t have to be Pollyanna but keeping a positive attitude and sense of humor helps.

Embrace change. Everything changes. Period. Personal computers weren’t even used in business when I started out (ouch) and now I don’t know what I’d do without one.

Ask for help. People, even busy people like to help. Identify companies you would like to work for and ask a top executive or someone who is in the type of job you want if they will talk to you for a half hour. You’ll build your network and learn something in the process.

Ask “what’s in it for them.” Position your skills for the position you want. For example, don’t just put “writing skills” on your resume, but tell what kind of writing skills – proposals, blogs, copy, technical, research, etc.

I know it’s hard out there, but you have to have faith. Because of a recession, I took a job as a sales clerk at a department store to pay the bills out of college. I made some great friends, learned a lot about business by helping my manager and fell in love with downtown Minneapolis. Now I’m lucky enough to have my own company in the city I love!