With troubled economies come troubling decisions that can either keep a company afloat or sink it. Take the idea of DIY (do it yourself) advertising.
One of the first areas affected by cutbacks is media spending and production services. When advertising budgets are slashed, businesses may often look internally to manage their company's advertising.
What may seem like a sound move, is often driven by a false sense of creative smarts and strategic thinking. Blame technology. It has leveled the playing field so well, that many a business owner may rely on family and staff familiar with photoshop or shooting home videos, writing blogs or strumming a guitar, building a personal website and so on, to manage their company's advertising campaigns.
This is somewhat like an intern doing surgery. Yes, there may be some very talented interns who could pull off an operation, but is it wise to bet your limited Advertising dollars on someone with little or no experience?
I don't think so. Practically speaking, can a company be objective enough or knowlegable enough to create, produce and execute a advertising campaign? Not likely.
Then again, if their staff was well versed in creative thinking, graphic design, print production, audio production, media analysis and buying, TV production, targeting, web design, PPC advertising, social networks, public relations, researching, trends and so on - they might be successful.
So, what can you do during troubled economic times to promote your product or service?
My advice is to work even closer with your Ad agency to find ways of maximizing media budgets and trimming production costs. Make sure your Ad Agency is negotiating vigorously on your behalf to get more for your dollar. Get your web site optimized so that you can develop a steady stream of free traffic and work out contra-exchange (barter) deals with media whenever possible.
As a side note, it is well established that during economic downturns, companies who do not maintain a presence in the marketplace will, in the long run, lose out to those that do.