AniBlurbs (Column)

Anibal's thoughts on Online Marketing Strategy, Service Design, Tech, Innovation, Business and more…

Interactive Marketing In Times Of Crisis (Thinking Anti-Cyclic)

Cutting deep in your Marketing budget (and thereby seeing it on default as a cost instead of an investment) is a short term tactic that isn’t going to help your company weather these uncertain times ahead of all of us. Instead it would be more sustainable to take a long term approach; a more critical look at what channels your spending this budget on and whether the story you’re telling is in line with the quality of your services or products.

And though your Marketing Department may stop talking about your company, products or service, the consumers are not: Au contraire; their conversations (in the Social Media space) are increasing exponentially!

Furthermore don’t forget to also take into account that most of your competitors are probably not as comfortable with such a progressive world view and will focus instead on the short term outcome. This means that by keeping your budget stable, but spending it more wisely, you could seriously gain competitive advantage.

“So, then since online has the reputation for being measurable, we’ll just cut back in our offline efforts.”

Contrary to popular belief among some of my peers, right now is NOT the time to cut in offline Ad spending: If there’s one thing we’ve learned so far, it’s that in times of Crisis there is a peak in the amount of readers, visitors, viewers and listeners to (in this particular case financial) news papers & websites, TV and radio. People are looking for guidance and a steady rock to cling on to. This means that if you have a relevant story to tell there’s never been a better time to reach out to your customers and core audiences than right now!

The core thing to keep in mind here is of course that the Old Media are by their very nature geared towards Branding, and thus, -though it’s not really scientifically-rock solid-proven-effective in generating revenue- it is a perfect instrument to instill customer thrust in your brand, if handled the right way and in conjunction with Social Media Marketing and other forms of Online Marketing.

The key challenge would be timing, as you wouldn’t want to have a multi-million dollar tagline –Here Today, Where Tomorrow?– proven meaningless overnight…

One way to manage your Marketing budget would be to higher or lower it every Financial Quarter, in a wave as it were, analyzing the results and reacting accordingly. Moreover reallocate the money spent on different channels based on campaign directive. So, depending on the field or sector your operating in, decrease the amount of money spend on Branding through offline channels and shift the resulting saved money towards Online Results Based Marketing, such as SEA and in optimizing the Task Completion Rate by Primary Purpose on your website…

Yep, I’m not advising you to plainly look at Conversion Rates, I’m suggesting to take a more holistic approach ;) Back in 2006 Google’s visionairy Web Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik already foresaw that the Focus (should be) Shifting from Conversion to Task Completion Rate by Primary Purpose.

Upcoming Interactive Channels that haven´t quite fully lived up to their potential yet like Social Media and Mobile are likely to be confronted with closed wallets and plummeting ad spending, not just because of advertisers cutting back in costs and investments, but also because the consumers themselves are being hesitant to spend money on luxury products and services including Mobile Internet and Mobile Wireless Internet Devices.

Yet again here it would be wise to be wary of and avoid the FUD; for example here in the Netherlands the mobile version of the largest news website (translated: is also the largest mobile news site. It is known that CTR’s in mobile enhanced sites are up to 7% or even higher, putting Display efforts on the desktop internet to shame; so though it’s understandable to make a Pavlov Reaction and eschew Mobile altogether, the contrary might be a better move. Whether your campaign is geared towards gaining a high CTR in the first place is of course a different thing altogether (I’d beg to differ, basing a campaign on CTR alone isn’t the most cost-effective way of spending your Marketing Euro).

As for Social Media, as I’ve pointed out at the beginning of this post: Your target audience, consumers and people in general aren’t going to be less critical, or dependent of peer advice and ratings and they’ll definitely be looking for bargain deals on price comparison communities, so keep joining that conversation!

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About Anibal do Rosario

is a Digital Strategist with over 15 years of practical experience with -and theoretical knowledge of- most Costumer Touchpoints within the Customer Life Cycle.

This includes Consultative Sales, Service Design, Graphic Design and (Online) Marketing Strategy.

He’s an online generalist who strongly believes in the power of branding, and has experienced 7 years of interacting face-to-face with consumers on a daily basis (see the extended profile here).

Having a creative (Web) Design background, Anibal’s constantly in search of striking the ideal balance between gut feeling and hard data. He believes that organisations need to look beyond targets or clinical analytics and amaze their customers with excellent Service & User Experience.

Core values: Always Be Testing, “The Product Is The Marketing”, Customer Intimacy, Service Design and last but not least: End-users rule!

Above all, he tries to learn new stuff, every single day.

Anibal is the author of @AnibalDoRosario, an online repository for Internet Marketing & Online Strategy Cases, Facts and Figures.


Professional Background

In the past 14 years Anibal has built experience in:

  • Retail;
  • Direct Sales & Canvassing;
  • Web Design;
  • Entertainment (Dance);
  • E-commerce;
  • Identity & Branding;
  • (Online) Marketing Strategies;
  • Online Product Management.


Agency and Client-side Experience

Anibal has gained his expertise working together with experienced professionals in projects on Agency side for governmental agencies and various Triple A brands such as: The Royal Dutch Navy, Royal Dutch Shell, UWV, Rabobank, Vodafone The Netherlands and more.

Next to that, he’s been active on the client-side working at Tech start-ups (a subsidiary of Dutch entertainment giants ID&T and Q-dance) and GAMcard.


Developing (Online) Marketing Strategies

Anibal has also been responsible for developing the (Online) Marketing Strategy and a new Corporate Identity at Persoonlijk Zorgnetwerk, the holding company behind -amongst others-, and

He was a member of the Online Marketing team at Top 10 Dutch Interactive Agency “eFocus Strategy & Webdesign”. In december 2009 eFocus has been proclaimed as the #1 full-service interactive agency in the Netherlands by Emerce Magazine, a Dutch E-commerce & New Media Industry magazine.

Anibal currently works as an Online Product Manager at DTG; a new media company formerly known as the “De Telefoongids” Directory (Dutch Yellow Pages & White Pages).

More details? Visit Anibal’s Extended Online Résumé here »


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