The economic outlook of late has caused many companies to rethink their spending. For some reason, marketing and advertising budgets have gotten the short end of the stick, while more resources are dumped into "fail-proof," data-driven plans.
The problem is that creativity might be the only way for some companies to dig themselves free. Conservative is the new risky. "Playing it safe" means imminent failure. But creativity doesn't have to be expensive.
Check out these ads from Eskom (sustainable development) and Durex.
The ads aren't colorful or flashy - they're just clever. There aren't a lot of printing costs associated with these, and, in fact, the Eskom billboard is saving on electricity.
The same can be true for your own marketing efforts. Make them simple, but clever. Don't worry about getting commercials on every television and radio station in the world - you can blast them out to the right audience through free media like YouTube or Facebook. Build your brand on Twitter rather than the New York Times; that way, you know only the people who are really interested will find you.
The line between advertising and PR is getting blurry, but the bottom line is clearer than ever - spend your time and resources on creativity, and word of mouth will become the greatest marketing tool of them all.
Sean Lukasik is a Creative Agent / Marketing Professional in the Elmira-Corning region of Upstate New York. He is President of Twin Tiers Young Professionals and a coordinator and consultant for Pipeline 4 Progress. Check out Sean's monthly column in Twin Tiers Business, published by the Elmira Star Gazette.