Volume 11, Issue 2 - March/April 2009


Eliminating Marketing Budgets
by Bob Theriot

Dear Bob, I have read and enjoyed every article that you have written for AGRR magazine. Now, I’m finding myself in need of some good advice and hoping you can help me. I own and operate a small auto glass shop here in the Midwest and I’m finding it harder and harder to continue to advertise because of the current economic conditions. I need to cut costs to stay profitable and am wondering if I should eliminate my marketing budget in 2009. Thanks for your help. —Jonathan H., Topeka, Kan.

A: Well, Jonathan, I can answer your question with a question of my own. Do you plan on being in business tomorrow, next month, or even next year? If you said yes, then you’ve answered your own question. Surveys conducted in every slowdown/recessions in the past 40 years have established a business truth: Firms or companies that maintain or increase advertising expenditures during tough economic times sell more than their competition. 

The notion of advertising right now may be a hard pill for you to swallow, but if you want to strive in this industry you’re going to have to think outside of the box. I know most business owners are faced with hard decisions when it comes to budgets, but I prefer that you find somewhere else to cut costs first. You know your business and market better than anybody and you are going to have to try to figure out just how much you can scale back while at the same time maintaining your brand.

There are several different ways you can go about advertising without spending a small fortune. The following is a list of a few strategies that will help you save some money while keeping your name and brand in the public eye. Good luck. 

Quick Tips 

• Use inexpensive promotional/advertising specialty items to keep your name in front of potential customers.
• Continue to visit your account/commercial clients personally to reinforce these business relationships.
• Sign up with a regional affiliate program for referrals and leads.
• Sign up or update your business listing with the local chamber of commerce.
• Create and distribute an online newsletter for your existing customers with special offers.

Bob Theriot Jr. is the author of “Pounding The Pavement— Tools, Techniques and Inspiration for Succeeding in Sales.” He also serves as marketing/sales manager for Southwest Auto Glass in El Paso, Texas. Mr. Theriot’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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