According to a survey from the ANA, public relations, word-of-mouth and social-network-based efforts are among those marketing activities whose spending will at least be maintained if not increased as companies make budget cuts to ride out the recession. While marketers signal they’ll be decreasing budgets for media buys and event sponsorship they will, according to the survey, be putting more emphasis on those activities that build brand equity. That includes the above-mentioned PR and WOM efforts, as well making sure the products themselves are up-to-snuff and the customer service experience is as good as it can be.
There’s also the finding from the results that marketers are putting less value in traditional media channels, with confidence in most all of them dropping from the levels indicated in the previous year’s survey. As those drop, confidence in more channels such as online and WOM/buzz marketing are rising. Social media, though, remains attractive but is still identified as a category many marketers have yet to figure out how to implement.