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Marketers plan to keep campaigns coming despite economic uncertainty

BUDGETS WILL INCREASE

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A recent survey by the American Marketing Association and Duke University's Fuqua School of Business found that, on average, marketing budgets will increase 9.1% over the next 12 months. (The study was based on an online survey of 249 senior marketers conducted in August.) “We did go into "conserve mode' recently, although part of it was because we were retooling our new campaign,” said Steve Pacheco, director of advertising at FedEx. The branding campaign, “Solutions That Matter,” includes four new TV spots, as well as online efforts designed to showcase the breadth of FedEx solutions. The campaign will run throughout the NFL season on NBC, as well as on cable news and entertainment channels. The budget was undisclosed. “NFL is where a lot of eyeballs are,” Pacheco said, noting that FedEx has been an NFL sponsor for more than 10 years. “People want to watch in real time, and it's not something you can fast-forward through.” Other b-to-b advertisers, such as Sybase, are planning new campaigns focused on specific products and services. “We'll be launching a new ad campaign supporting analytics, which will launch in September and run through the end of the year,” said Mark Wilson, senior VP-corporate and field marketing at Sybase. “The campaign is designed to build our leadership position in analytics, and we'll primarily use online, print and mobile for that campaign.” Wilson said Sybase will also continue its existing campaigns focused on enterprise mobility and capital markets, using a mix of print, online, TV, outdoor and social media, for the remainder of the year. Motorola Solutions will roll out new executions focused on innovation as part of its “Rise” campaign, created by BBDO New York and launched in January. “We'll be using interactive, print and trade shows, focusing on the key verticals we serve in government and enterprises,” said Eduardo Conrado, senior VP-CMO at Motorola Solutions. “We'll also be using social platforms such as Facebook in some markets where our customers use it, and we also have Twitter accounts tied into our key verticals.” Scott Coleman, VP-chief marketing and sales officer at DuPont, said his company would “stay the course” with its advertising efforts in the fourth quarter and look at new ways to expand its existing programs. “We'll be continuing our "Horizons' [TV sponsorship] program with BBC Global, as well as our partnership with National Geographic [print and online]. Those have been two great media platforms for us, and we're exploring plans to significantly build upon those,” he said. Some companies are planning campaigns that directly address the current economic situation. Earlier this month, the Financial Times rolled out a global ad campaign positioning itself as a trusted source of news and information during turbulent economic times. The campaign includes TV, print, online and out-of-home ads. One print ad has “SOS” in Morse code, with copy reading, “The stormy world economy. Get the trusted, global perspective.” Another ad features a St. Bernard carrying an issue of the Financial Times on its collar. Caroline Halliwell, director of brand and b-to-b marketing at the Financial Times, said, “The challenging and uncertain economic climate continues to generate an even greater demand for the FT's expert news and commentary around the world.” Also this month, Monster.com debuted a print ad in The New York Times, touting its leadership position in the career field. “It's a timely message, given how much jobs are in the conversation,” said Osborn of BBDO New York, which created the ad. Other ad agency executives said they are not seeing any big cutbacks by clients, despite the uncertain economic times. “We are seeing "steady as you go.' We are not seeing any pullbacks, and in some cases we're seeing some increases,” said Carl Anderson, CEO of b-to-b agency Doremus, New York. “A couple of clients are debuting new campaigns and efforts, and other clients are holding true to their spending and commitments and marketing efforts for the fourth quarter.” For example, Doremus client Logitech, which makes tablet accessories, plans to introduce a new ad campaign in the fourth quarter. Rick Segal, worldwide president-chief practice leader at gyro, New York, said, “We really haven't seen any cuts or retrenching as of yet.” However, he added, “Every client has such contingencies on paper, ready to pull the trigger at a moment's notice. We don't have an environment that encourages risk-taking.”

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