Making marketing changes in a tough business environment

The new year is just around the corner. You are likely at the point of wrapping up your marketing plan…and budget…for 2023. Before you finalize your 2023 marketing plan, however, ask yourself four important questions:

  • Is the marketing plan delivering what we want or expect?
  • Do my key marketing resources (advertising agency, PR firm) clearly understand our overall business objectives?
  • Do we need to make marketing changes that can substantially benefit us?
  • What changes in our marketing plan do we need to make to keep us where we are or increase our business in a challenging marketing environment?

Here’s an example of how we approach marketing

Let’s take a hypothetical small business and see how we might address these four key marketing questions.


Your company can only afford a modest advertising budget and a limited PR budget. Your ad budget barely reaches the level of effective communications…reaching your target audience with the frequency that registers recognition, let alone a sizeable response.

For your 2023 marketing plan, you have the same amount budgeted for paid advertising and PR. Inflation, however, will diminish what your limited ad budget will be able to deliver in terms of reach and frequency.

How will you maintain reach and frequency while keeping up with inflation? How will you address customers or potential clients, who will also be feeling the impact of inflation and be less willing to spend until the business climate turns around?

The challenge:

Maximize the impact of your marketing budget without spending more than you did in 2023.

Here’s how we would address this challenge.

Our recommendations:

Keep the same budget in 2023.  If you spent $125,000 in advertising in 2022 and $25,000 in public relations and promotion, maintain the same overall budget.

With no additional marketing expenditures and less impact from the marketing dollars you have available, look for other ways to use your budgeted dollars effectively…or more effectively.

So, how do we do that?

  1. Use what you’ve got. If your creative messaging and materials are satisfactory, continue to use them without making costly major production changes (art, copy, photo, video, digital).
  2. Look for peaks and valleys in your sales. You may want to front-load part of your marketing spending ahead of your peak season with the notion of “peaking your peak.” By putting your dollars to work to raise your peak, you will have them working considerably more efficiently than trying change what have historically been seasonal sales valleys.
  3. Re-allocate your marketing expenditures between advertising and public relations. If you have $125K available for advertising, take $5,000 and allocate it to public relations and see what your PR firm can do to deliver a specific goal of $30,000 in measurable editorial impact in consumer or trade media.

We are a public relations firm. But we are also a marketing firm.

The example above illustrates the kind of thinking we would put into your business and how we can help you improve on your overall marketing efficiency.

When you look over our recommendations, you may notice three key features about the critical thinking we put into every client’s business:

Maximizing what you already are spending. This might mean re-using or recycling marketing messages that already work or have worked in the past so you can minimize production costs to free up some of your marketing dollars.

Be willing to re-allocate how you use your marketing dollars. Sure, we’d like to have more PR dollars to work with (we are a PR firm, first and foremost), but only if those dollars can be used to deliver measurable results.

Invest marketing dollars only in approaches that will enable you to earn more revenue sooner rather than later. That may require spending in different patterns (i.e., time, longevity, allocation) than you previously have done. We aim at ways and means that enable your marketing dollars to earn more revenue in the short-term.

Call Wellons Communications to discuss your 2023 marketing plan

We are always looking for new business, just as you are always looking for ways to improve your sales.

That said, we sincerely believe our marketing-centric approach to public relations can offer you insights and directions that can enable you to get the most out of your marketing dollars.

If that means more spending on PR, great. If it means making changes in your advertising and collateral materials, that’s also great.

We are not afraid to recommend changes. And we are equally willing to recognize that your plan is just what you need.

Talk with us about how your marketing program is going. Ask us what we think of your overall marketing approach. No need to be protective or defensive. What’s done is done and we are not judgmental.

We will be candid. And that’s because that’s what we believe you want to hear when you talk with us.

We’re eager to hear from you.