SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

Aberdeen Group

February 12, 2009 11:00 ET

As Recession Deepens, Top Performers Revamp Their Marketing Budgets

New Aberdeen Report Reveals the Strategies and Tactics That Best-in-Class Companies Are Implementing in Order to Survive and Prosper in the Face of a Global Economic Downturn

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - February 12, 2009) - 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: http://www.aberdeen.com//summary/report/benchmark/5728-RA-recessionary-marketing-automation.asp.

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: http://www.aberdeen.com//summary/report/benchmark/5728-RA-recessionary-marketing-automation.asp

For additional access to complimentary Customer Management Research, please visit http://research.aberdeen.com/index.php/-customer-management.

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™ 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 http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2009 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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