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22 - 26 March

Festival for a rapidly changing world

Topics include: Direct to consumer / E-commerce / Data & privacy / Martech

Forth says digital marketing the way forward in troubled times

Gavin Forth, digital development director at McCann Erickson Manchester says that marketing budgets must adjust to digital to see brands through the economic downturn.

Clearly the answer to this is a resounding “no”!

I would agree strongly that now is exactly the right time for advertisers and brand owners to be re-evaluating their marketing priorities and plans. But the received wisdom from previous recessions is absolutely right in highlighting the opportunity (even necessity) for brands to invest their way out of economic downturns. But now is also exactly the right time to look beyond the traditionally safe harbours of offline advertising.

Digital media: online, search, mobile, e-CRM etc are now proven, mainstream communication channels to all customer groups. Not only is Digital Media highly engaging, effective and targeted - in times of economic down-turn, it is above all accountable. With all brand owners looking to maximise their return on investment, digital marketing and media is still the most exciting and innovative part of any marketer’s toolkit – but it is also now the most dependable and cost effective.

Following the seismic activity in the world economy this week, brands are faced with a new environment to survive and prosper in. This time though, the smarter brands have evolved new skills. Unlike in previous recessions, this time brands will not need to rely on scatter gun, high cost communication channels to fight themselves out of a downturn. This will be the first economic downturn where Digital Media is a mainstream channel to consumers. In previous recessions, the biggest brands did well: it was survival of the largest marketing budget – this time we may well see a true Darwinian survival of the fittest (or at least the most digitally adapted).

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