It's Baaaaack: Doing More With Less

You Know the Drill

By Published on .

Marc Brownstein Marc Brownstein
One of the dilemmas of working in a small-to-midsize agency is that you get small-to-midsize budgets. More often than not, the budgets never even make it to midsize. Our agency deals with it. So do hundreds of other shops around the globe.

In speaking with other agency owners, I am noticing a recent trend: the $1 million, $2 million or $3 million budget that was committed, and planned for by the agency, suddenly becomes a lot less when it becomes time to build the actual marketing plan. Yet the marketing goals don't change. Clients still want, and expect, to see the same results.

Sound familiar?

There are a few things you can do:
  1. Throw a tantrum about how agencies cannot be expected to do more with less.

  2. Develop a point of view and present it to your client, explaining how something has to be sacrificed when the budget is.

  3. Be creative. Figure out a way to do something unexpected that still makes an impact. You'll likely have to prioritize your dollars and focus efforts on one -- possibly two -- tactics. But maybe those one or two give your client a chance to still make an impact. Perhaps you lead with public relations, since it provides a big bang for a marketing buck. Or come up with an idea that is so risky, it makes your palms sweat. And still delivers on the strategy. Try something (a new medium or guerilla tactic) your agency has never tried before, but you believe can work.
The reality is, some budgets grow, most stay the same, and a lot get cut -- especially in a dicey economy. So my advice is go ahead and do No. 1 and No. 2 above, and when you fail to sway your client's CFO, then gather your team and be inventive.
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