Just one part of the puz­zle…

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - STU­ART TU­DOR-OWEN

I WRITE IN RE­SPONSE to the re­port head­lined “How to cut ad­ver­tis­ing costs”(15 Jan­uary 2009). Francesco Mar­i­ola’s Me­dia and Busi­ness Tracking So­lu­tion (MBTS) of­fers a way of analysing me­dia spend with a view to cost cut­ting. It’s nat­u­ral (even pru­dent) for mar­keters to look to strip out costs in times of eco­nomic down­turn, par­tic­u­larly those of ad­ver­tis­ing for which it’s no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to mea­sure ROI. (We all know the quote about “half my ad­ver­tis­ing money is wasted, I’m just not sure which half...”)

My con­tention is that looking at me­dia alone is but one part of the puz­zle. What mar­keters should be think­ing about dur­ing a re­ces­sion isn’t ad­ver­tis­ing but their over­all brand strat­egy and to­tal mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­ity/bud­get.

As Gra­ham Mackay, CEO of SABMiller, said at a busi­ness break­fast in Jo­han­nes­burg re­cently, ad­ver­tis­ing is only a small part of its mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­ity. And as War­ren Buf­fett re­cently said to some in­vestors, his cri­te­ria on whether or not to buy a com­pany in or­der of pri­or­ity was: the qual­ity of the brand(s) owned, a good man­age­ment team and only then the bal­ance sheet.

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