Do More With Less

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You must be very tired of Blog postings about the Marketing industry and the economy. I know I am. But, there is a reality, and it could well be one of the best things that has happened to this industry in a long time.

We can’t diminish the really dark news that many of our peers are presently unemployed and that most of the so-called experts predict it is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. We’ve already seen some clients cut their budgets on the marketing, media and advertising side, and even though I am hopeful that a lot of the slashed marketing dollars will still result in an increase on the Digital Marketing side, it really is anybody’s guess as to what is going to happen and how this is all going to unfold.

So, what is the good news?

If you look back on times like this (and we have been through economic challenges before), these dramatic business issues have not only forced companies to look inward, they have usually forced them to rethink just about everything. This type of forced creative destruction brings with it newer business models and efficiencies. Employees who lost their jobs, can’t see this. It hurts and it’s all too personal (which it should be), but these deep cuts do force a business to figure out one very powerful idea:

How to do more with less.

In Blogging about the publishing industry for the past little while, I’ve noted that cutting costs is not a great revenue generating strategy. Printing less papers per week or delivering less copies is not going to increase readership and overall revenues in the long term, but getting more efficient with the type of content they are producing, along with using the many new digital channels to create compelling news items – that can be distributed to a wider and more interested community – can be a different way of doing things. It might require the re-training of some of the more passionate people in the business’ current state, and it might mean that some of the people have to go and be replaced with others who are more open to the realities and changes that are happening.

You need to do more with less.

That’s the big secret. That’s what is going to make you irreplaceable. The business you work for is going to change. People are going to be fired. It might be your boss, it might be people on your team, or it might even be you. If all you get at the end of the day is a banker’s box filled with your personal belongings, then all is lost. There has never been a more important time to understand the myriad of digital channels and free publishing tools that are right here in front of you – at your fingertips – and are relatively cheap, free and easy to use. If things don’t work out and you’re forced to figure out your next move, having a solid digital footprint – a network of people who are connected to you and a place (or two) where you have been sharing how you think, create and grow – is going to make you better, sharper, faster. More importantly, by using these tools, you are going to learn how to do more with less.

A Blog can change the game. 

Don’t kid yourself into thinking that doing any of this stuff online is not a lot of hard work and that it doesn’t take a long, long time to not only build a community but to build your credibility. It does. The advantage is that ones ability to publish their thoughts with such speed and to such a vast and potentially huge audience did not exist the last time our world went through the kind of crisis we’re currently trapped in. By understanding how this information flows online, by having a Reader and subscribing to some key Alerts and by creating your own content, you will begin to unravel how much more efficient you can be as a Marketer.

Others are panicked, keeping their heads down and just trying to get through the day to day drama of it all. What are you going to do?


  1. For 2009: don’t talk digital, walk digital.
    Marketers will reconsider advertising and are (finally) opening their eyes to see what they are paying for and all thay they could do…
    I just started a blog to understand more the medium. I have now a good reason to spend some cognitive surplus (especially after the holidays)

  2. From a personal standpoint I completely agree. The blog I write with a great friend and co-worker has definitely had an impact on my career and continues to help me increase my network.
    From a marketer/brand standpoint I believe that 2009 will be the year of the corporate blog. As companies are hungry for value and cutting media they will discover that a little internal manpower is cheaper than ad buys.

  3. I have witnessed two downsized companies that I have worked for in the past and the statement about doing more with less really does resonate on multiple fronts. The ones that survive should not only be thankful they have a job but should focus on producing the best content and then exhaust all oppurtunities provided to them by the means of free tools (wordpress, twitter, typepad, forums, niche communities). I also agree it takes a fair amount of personal time but when the audience is so much greater and the reach so much further….it is so worth it

  4. Great post – actually a good debate starter – I’m not sure if “doing more with less” is the way I would put it.
    I agree that marketers need to realize that there has been huge overspending on media budgets, and that marketing dollars – in most situations – did not always give back double the investment. Hence your comment: they need to “put the wallet on a diet” and take advantage of emergent means of communications to grow a network of ambassadors and influencers.
    However, I believe that marketers — while understanding the value of word-of-mouth and the power of communities — are having trouble moving their communication strategies from “measurable actions” towards “networkable actions”.
    Because of the proliferation of emergent media communication channels (there are thousands of “2.0” communities and apps springing everywhere), it’s hard for marketers to understand that what replaces that one “local newspaper” or that one “local TV channel” – things that used to guarantee the aggregation in one place of a very precisely measured community – is now a blog, micro-site, or tweeter account.
    This exists not only because there’s a lack of misinformation on social media, but also because there’s also a lack of a potent business model to prove efficiency. The two above challenges need to be addressed properly, to justify a company shifting its communications investment in these new media, especially if that investment is now lower than ever, and that time is of essence.
    Which means that for social media and marketers to go well together, I’d say we need two conditions:
    First: Marketers need to start believing in the value of social media and start being present in there. It’s undeniable that the new market is made of conversations, and they need to acknowledge this reality and start taking concrete actions.
    Second: The Social media scene needs to regroup. Creators and programmers shouldn’t try to reinvent Facebooks, Tweeters or YouTubes and the likes. They should find ways to empower them, add to their functionality. We need to find more ways to aggregate all these different communication channels.
    2009 should be the year of finding out how we will harness the power of communities to our advantage using social media. Let’s stop trying to always find new 2.0 ventures – let’s start empowering and strenghtening the efficiency of what is at hand.
    Which brings us back to my initial premice: I don’t believe the thinking is “doing more with less”. I believe the thinking is “doing more with what we have”.

  5. Excellent post. As a marketer, I acknowledge the value of social media and I am willing to test a few initiatives toward that direction this year. However, it is very difficult to identify which one we should begin with since there is no business model on the potential return of social media. Any recommandation?

  6. Great post Mitch. One thing that companies should do as they look “inward” at themselves – they should actually go back to the fundamentals. They should ask themselves; at the end of the day what are they selling? Something of value that people truly want? If this is the case then the rest becomes a matter of being dogged and consistent with reaching out to your audience and the rest will actually fall into place.

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