There is little doubt that the budget has set the tone for a number of years to come. The only argument seems to be for how many. Whilst it is wrong to suggest that the degree of retrenchment comes as a shock it does give the feeling that belt-tightening is now official. Times are hard and will continue to be so.
You have probably been considering your short and medium term plans: whether to try and weather the storm with as little damage to your turnover as possible or to cut everything and just concentrate on existing. Your sole target being to come out the other end. There is a third option.
The most expensive procedure in email marketing is building up your email lists. That is true whether you opt for buying-in addresses or building your own. But once systems are established and tested the actual costs of email marketing campaigns are low in comparison to any other form. This gives us a distinct advantage.
Companies using, for example, direct mail for their marketing have a vital decision to make, one that does not limit us to such an extent. They have to consider whether their campaign, with its considerable initial outlay, can guarantee to cover its costs, let alone give a reasonable return on investment. Past experiences, gained in different times, now lack authority. But to fail is not an option.
Those of us using email marketing cannot support projections with out-of-date data but here is where the distinct advantage comes in. With low on-costs we can build up data on trends in a short period. It is us who will be first to identify the changes in purchasing patterns. We will be able to see trends earlier than the competition. At a time when there is no status quo the ability to predict the effects of the budget in short time could be critical.
The third option is to consider expanding your email lists. It is by no means a dream. At a time of contraction those with less extravagant systems will be in the stronger position. There is little doubt that a number of companies will go to the wall. That would appear to be a certainty. Their customers will be looking for some other source to satisfy whatever their need is.
Those engaged in direct mail and other expensive forms of marketing will, in all probability, be cutting back while you, with your comparatively inexpensive email marketing, will be able to consider targeting those whose favoured source has suddenly disappeared.
To go for survival alone is to put your company at risk. Research has shown that in previous slumps those who continued to market their products with a degree of forcefulness came out the other side not only stronger than their competitors but also stronger than when they went in. This is not to suggest throwing resources at advertising is certain to bring success as discretion is required. But those engaged in email marketing where costs are significantly lower are a distinct advantage.