Put your mouth where your money is

January 13, 2009

I’ve written before about agencies telling people to market and spend because smart people do that in a down economy. Sometimes that is true. We in marketing and advertising obviously support the validity of our profession and feel that it makes a difference when done right. Right? Well, are you speaking as a marketer or as a taxpayer?

The Detroit Auto Show & Bowl Games — Your tax dollars at work

More than a few opinions have cropped up this past week in regards to Detroit. Some people think the Auto bailout money should go to a “better use” than advertising, like paying union contract benefits or other operating expenses. Some people are horrified to know that bailout money is going towards trade shows and Bowl advertising. Truck Trend even said the 2009 North American International Auto Show had “the trappings of an expensive funeral, the only thing missing from the cars will be the orange flags used to keep the procession moving along.”

Detroit Auto Show

Some worry what it says about a company if they DON’T show-up to the Auto Show. Nissan and Mitsubishi obviously don’t worry about that and won’t be there. Some point out that contracts made for Bowl games are done years in advance and that pulling out isn’t an option.

GMAC Bowl Logo

Detroit on craigslist

Thankfully, some voices came forward this week taking up the cause for sales and marketing. They pointed out that these are critical aspects of conducting and growing business. After all, the auto companies connect with their target audiences with the media that surrounds the auto show and through the Bowl games. They do it because people buy as a result of awareness/impressions and perhaps the call to action they are exposed to in Bowl advertising.

Armchair quarterbacks–or should we say armchair media planners–always have a recommendation for what could be done better or differently. Spend in a different channel. Move all your money to one type of media. Change your model and use different sales and marketing methods but still keep spending. Somebody mentioned craigslist and said, “What do you want…Detroit advertising on craigslist? Well…maybe so…as a part of the overall marketing mix.

Altogether now – “marketing and advertising drive sales”

I wonder how many of us marketing and advertising taxpayers are playing Armchair media planner right about now? Let’s just hope they sell some cars. Especially if marketing and advertising are seen to have done their jobs. That would be a nice double shot in the arm for some of us.