As Recession Deepens, Top Performers Revamp Their Marketing Budgets

Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:00am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

  BOSTON, MA, Feb 12 (MARKET WIRE) -- 
As companies reel from the fallout from the worst financial crisis in
recent history, chief marketing officers and other senior marketing
practitioners are under more pressure than ever to minimize marketing
waste and maximize return on marketing investment. How can marketers
continue to attract, retain and increase the value of profitable
customers even as these same customers become increasingly reluctant to
spend money? To find out, Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS),
surveyed more than 250 diverse enterprises, resulting in the new
benchmark report "Recessionary Marketing: How Best-in-Class Companies are
Weathering the Storm." To access a complimentary copy, visit:

    Aberdeen research reveals that 82% of companies have reallocated their
planned marketing spend for 2009 to varying degrees on account of the
recession. For only 8% of companies has the current economic climate had
no effect on their planned marketing spend. The specific revisions that
many Best-in-Class companies have made to their original marketing plans
for 2009 in response to the economic downturn are multifaceted, affecting
everything from the number, scope and types of marketing campaigns that
companies intend to launch to the deployment of new technologies and
analytic capabilities to ensure that the campaigns that do launch achieve
the desired results.

    One major trend relates to the migration of marketing spend from high-cost
channels like TV and print to low-cost channels like email that tend to be
more cost effective in yielding the desired results and can also be more
closely tracked and measured, which is imperative from a performance
management perspective. In fact, Aberdeen research reveals that 60% of
Best-in-Class companies have cut their previously allocated marketing
spend in traditional media, 18% by more than half, while 47% of
Best-in-Class companies, compared to 26% of Laggards, have increased
their marketing spend on email marketing.

    The report includes a number of recommendations to help spur performance
improvements, based on the actions that Best-in-Class companies are
taking, including an increased emphasis on customer data management and
analytics to enable customer value management and to drive precision
marketing effectiveness. Recommended actions also include the deployment
of various technologies, including market asset management systems, which
reduce costs by providing seamless asset management through content
distribution workflow, mobile marketing solutions, which can be used to
reach consumers on the go in a relevant, engaging and cost-effective
manner, and lead nurturing solutions, which can help overcome the budget
freezes and longer sales cycles that have become hallmarks of the
economic downturn.

    "The dismal state of the economy is causing companies everywhere to
reassess their marketing budgets," said Jeff Zabin, Research Fellow at
Aberdeen Group. "Companies need to ensure that they're allocating their
limited marketing funds in the most productive ways possible. In many
cases, this means curtailing, postponing or even eliminating previously
planned marketing expenditures. In other cases, companies are actually
investing more aggressively in various types of marketing programs,
sensing an opportunity to capitalize on the grim economic headlines."

    A complimentary copy of this report is made available due, in part, to the
following underwriters: Air2Web, Manticore Technology, Neolane, Saepio and
Silverpop. To access a complimentary copy, visit:

    For additional access to complimentary Customer Management Research,
please visit

    About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

    Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market
intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more
than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely
positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating
demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment
analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets,
corporations turn to Aberdeen(TM) for insights that drive decisions.

    As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in
context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's
analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of
Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement -
Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role
Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit
Aberdeen or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more
about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to

Copyright 2009 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
451 D Street, Suite 710
Boston, Massachusetts 02210-1928
Telephone: (617) 854-5200
Fax: (617) 723-7897


Media Contact:
Jeff Zabin
Aberdeen Harte-Hanks
(847) 328-4795

Copyright 2009, Market Wire, All rights reserved.

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