PRESIDENT | TOPIN & ASSOCIATES
Unless the brand is bleeding money (at which point they won't be asking what to cut, they'll be telling you), it's time to have a serious face-to-face discussion on staying the course. If you believe it is in the client's best interest to stick to their plan, then it's time to explain you can't add by subtracting—meaning it's impossible to add value to their brand by subtracting dollars from their budget. Instead, it's time to look closely for added opportunities during an economic crunch. Such as:
- Opportunity to increase share of voice without increasing expenses. Competitors may cut back; media may be open to further negotiation.
- Opportunity to fine-tune the creative and add further impact to messaging, which allows clients to shout louder and gain further awareness.
- Opportunity to shift some budget dollars into added digital tactics that can be more cost-effective, reach additional target audiences, and deliver clear measurements of effectiveness.
The key is not to add dollars to the budget, but to spend them better, without losing continuity and focus. Overall, it's time to be proactive, not reactive. And to remind your clients that short-term budget cuts do not deliver long term growth.