Two-Way Street

PR, social media, events and incentives – Collaboration & communication ideas for demanding businesses from The Castle Group's Mark O'Toole

Use it or lose it

Posted by thecastlegroup on October 2, 2009

As we move full steam ahead into the 3rd quarter of 2009, some companies have budgets they have to “use or lose.” Often, marketing folks who have been conservative in their spending realize that they have resources left over. With a few scant weeks left, they scramble to figure out the best way to maximize those dollars. As with any marketing spend, strategy is key. Here are strategic ways to leverage leftover resources while keeping the big picture in mind.

End-of-the-year media relations: Can your company tie its messages into the end of year, through a time-sensitive story angle you can put resources behind?

Next year’s plans:Can you powerboost an early 2010 program by adding a little more firepower upfront? Buzz-building, surveys/data collection and focus groups can all support your upcoming initiative.

Your materials: Take a critical look at the materials you use – presentations, video, photography, web content, bios, even boilerplate. It’s likely some of them need updating.

Internal marketing:Your team, department and company are all part of your audience. There are numerous reasons to market to them – and you can do it through a team building experience that will have a lasting impact.

Social networking: Take the time and pay attention to building out your corporate or executives’ profiles. If you don’t know where to start, talk to your agency about creating a robust strategy.

Do good and do well: Maybe your company leaves this to another department, but the reality is that marketing and nonprofit support are related. You can support a worthy organization AND get visibility for your brand – in a way that is on message – at the same time.

Get out: Take a hard look at the upcoming business/civic calendar. Is there something you want to attend – and that your clients and colleagues might want to attend? You can buy a table or tickets to a worthy event that provides visibility for your organization and allows strategic networking.

Association alignment: By sponsoring a third-party event, you put your brand around an existing experience and may have the opportunity to moderate a panel, be a speaker or presenter, and create additional visibility for your brand.

New markets: Perhaps there’s a market you haven’t had a chance to penetrate. Research new avenues for reaching that market – the possibilities are out there if you take the time to uncover them.

Outside the box: It can be difficult to see your challenges in a new light; a creative firm can come up with exciting new initiatives and campaigns to take your brand to a new level.

Bring audiences together: Sometimes a corporate event is the best way to rally forces, share messaging, lay the foundation for the coming year and show appreciation. It’s a measurable way to use those extra dollars and see immediate ROI.

Work with accounting: Maybe – just maybe – the powers that be will let you carry over the surplus and add it to next year’s budget. If not, perhaps you can pre-pay for services you’ll use in 2010.

Although there’s no doubt 2009 was a difficult year, business is moving ahead. Don’t risk ending the year with a wasted opportunity – maximize every last day of 2009 to lay the groundwork for a prosperous 2010.

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