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Bad times a good time to advertise more, SMEs told Print E-mail
Friday, 27 March 2009 18:16

Businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should not reduce marketing communications in the current economic downturn; in fact, they should take the opportunity to intensify their marketing communications to create visibility in the market.

These were some of the points shared by industry key players in the Effie Effectiveness 2009 Talk Series held recently. The talk is a continuous promotion activity running up to the call for entries in May for the Malaysia Effie Awards.

The talk series is about sharing knowledge delivered by industry leaders from the advertising and marketing communications fraternity around the region. It is also to increase awareness of the awards and further enhance the quality of entries submitted for the award in October.

“During boom times, it is difficult to gain visibility because everyone is spending on promotions. But now, with people cutting down, the chances of being visible are greater and it is lasting,” said Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) CEO Datuk Noharuddin Nordin in a media briefing.

“When the economy recovers, they will still remember you and you need not spend more then to be visible. My advice is, now is the time to spend on marketing communications,” said Noharuddin, adding that with the shrinking and ferociously competitive global market, effective communications is vital to make brands visible.

He said SME companies would benefit with proper marketing communication strategies. However, many are reluctant to do so as this may cost a lot.

“They (SMEs) have a perception that marketing communications is only for the ‘big guys’. One has to be realistic. You can’t compare a campaign of Coca Cola with that of the SMEs,” added Noharuddin, who is also the chairman of the executive council of Malaysia Effie Awards.

He said companies must be clear of their target audience or segments to be effective in their marketing campaigns.

Three prominent speakers were at the recent talk – Publicis Malaysia executive strategic planning director Arindam Chatterjee, McCann Worldgroup deputy chairman and executive creative director Huang Ean Hwa and Ogilvy One Asia president Kent Wertime.

Huang in his talk ‘The New Economic Revolutionary Disparity’ said companies need to be courageous to be noticed in the market especially with the global financial crisis.

“You need to be smart and play your own game. You need to be able to see how you can do things differently,” said Huang.

Arindam, or Chat as he is popularly known, in his talk ‘Make Effie a way of life’ said in any marketing campaign, creativity and idea is only one side of the coin, the other side is the effectiveness of the campaign.

“Effectiveness is E= MC²″, said Chat, explaining it as Effectiveness = Memorable x Contagious x Co-Creation.

He explained that “contagious” meant campaigns that are appealing to the consumers for the message to be spread while “co-creation” meant consumer participation for the continuity of the message.

He cited Barack Obama as a good marketing brand as “his story and presidential race was a memorable and powerful story as it showed how common goals can be achieved together.”

Chat gave an example of when Obama announced his choice for the vice president’s post via text message and emails to his supporters.

“Obama knew his target audiences were young voters, so he tapped into the social media to help spread the message. By doing this, he had the consumer participation. People felt they were part of his campaign,” said Chat.

Meanwhile, Wertime, in his session ‘Digital marketing and effective brands’ said although many marketers tend to spend the bulk of their money in traditional media, there will be a shift in marketing patterns in the future.

“Traditional media is still big. However, the growth rate for digital media is higher,” said Wertime, adding that digital marketing engages the consumers and this gets the message across.

The Effie Awards, created in 1968 and presented annually in the United States by the New York American Marketing Association, is a global award that recognises the year’s most effective marketing and communications campaigns that achieved outstanding results. This year marks the second year of the Malaysia Effie Awards.

Last year, the awards received a total of 68 entries and were judged by 40 individuals comprising senior officials from the corporate sector and industries.

Source: worldofproperty.co.uk



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