« If you could change only one thing... | Main | Can using a Mac raise your IQ? »

How to spend your marketing and ad budget

I've worked for companies that spent their entire ad and marketing budget on making their existing users deliriously happy. Let's say your marketing and/or ad budget doesn't have the same legs it used to, or that you've just decided to make a change. Or maybe you don't even have a marketing budget. Is there something you can do that might be more creative and, in many cases today, at least--if not more--effective?

These are off the top of my head and my usual disclaimers apply (doesn't work for everything, etc.), and I hope others will add better ideas.

Marketingbudget_2

The Sarah McLachlan music video for World on Fire puts a different spin on alternative uses for promotional budgets—they took nearly all of the $150,000 production budget for the music video and spent it on other things. I'm sure you've all seen it by now, but here are a few sample screens that come on (in between a few home-movie quality shots of Sarah playing her guitar):

Picture_11


Picture_15


Picture_16

Bonus: by putting the information into the video, they're also teaching fans/users the true costs of both the production of the video and things like the cost of educating a girl in Afghanistan.

Most of my suggestions aren't nearly as "worthy" as what they did with the World On Fire budget, but to a real user... having a better experience using the product or better yet--getting to the kick ass threshold more quickly--is still a pretty damn worthy cause.

And hey -- if you can help them get laid (by creating/supporting user groups and online communities where people often find meaningful and lasting relationships), then you've got something more powerful than all the "twins" ads money can buy. ; )

Please, add your ideas.

[Relevant links: Heifer International, World Changing, and Gaping Void)]

Posted by Kathy on October 29, 2005 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b44369e200d83459f4ac69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How to spend your marketing and ad budget:

» How to spend your marketing and ad budget from Marketing Linx
What is the new more effective way of marketing? (Article has a cool comparison picture of "old way" of marketing vs "new way" of marketing.) [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 30, 2005 1:05:38 AM

» How to create word of mouth buzz? from Teller in English
I’ve been occasional reader of Kathy Sierra over at her “Creating passionate users” blog and in her most recent post “How to spend your marketing and ad budget” she gives advice on old way vs. new way. One recommendation really... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 30, 2005 4:47:07 AM

» Launching a new service and guerilla PR (part 2) from Razvan Antonescu
In a previous post, I started pointing out a few tips that might help launching new web 2.0 online services. In this post you will learn why the blogosphere ( ) is important and how to get it on your side Key element No.2: The Blogosphere While p... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 30, 2005 11:42:40 AM

» PR, Marketing Firms -- Are You Still Relevant? from On Message from Wagner Communications
What would happen if you went to work Monday morning and realized that your clients' mindsets had changed over the weekend? That the old way of doing business was no longer considered worthwhile? Would you be relevant? Could you change directions... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 30, 2005 12:50:00 PM

» Marketing spending: make the $$ count from Synapse Chronicles
Kathy Sierra: Creating Passionate Users: How to spend your marketing and ad budget. Very interesting note about the Sarah McLachlan video. Top work!... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 30, 2005 4:35:43 PM

» Skate to Where the Puck is Going from Micro Persuasion
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said: “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it's been.” Marketing great Kathy Sierra said: skate to where the marketing budgets are going... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 31, 2005 6:36:08 PM

» Marketing Bottom Up, or As If Blogs Weren't Microbroadcasts from Crossroads Dispatches
I'm peeved that the blogosphere memes and voices are so narrow too. (But I knew that when I started blogging. Eschewing kissing ass, I prefer kicking ass myself.) Yet if I don't fall prey to A-List thinking myself. My god [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 31, 2005 9:48:05 PM

» How To Spend Your Marketing and Ad Budget from Net
Here is a new and creative way of how to spend your marketing and advertising budget from Passionate(via Steve). I like many of the ideas here(but would put many of the old-school experts out of work)and opening the way [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 1, 2005 12:44:59 AM

» How To Spend Your Marketing and Ad Budget from Net
Here is a new and creative way of how to spend your marketing and advertising budget from Passionate(via Steve). I like many of the ideas here(but would put many of the old-school experts out of work)and opening the way [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 1, 2005 12:47:09 AM

» The New Way is the Old Way from A PR Guru's Musings - Stuart Bruce
Creating Passionate Users: How to spend your marketing and ad budget has a table showing the 'old way' and the 'new way' to spend your PR and marketing budget. The problem is that what is listed as the new way looks pretty much like what I've bee... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 1, 2005 2:13:10 AM

» Blogs as PR from Simon Brown's weblog
In How to spend your marketing and ad budget, Kathy offers suggestions for alternative ways to spend your advertising budget. As somebody that promotes blogs and blogging, both internally and externally, a few suggestions really shout out to me as bei... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 1, 2005 2:48:30 AM

» 広告宣伝費の使い方2.0 from Idea * Idea
僕にとってのA-list Bloggerといえば、今なら間違いなく「Creati... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 1, 2005 6:23:11 AM

» DIY PR in a 'Cheap' Economy from Media Guerrilla
Putting aside all the recent rhetoric and controversy surrounding Web 2.0 companies, a few facts remain, one of which is this: the costs associated with starting and running a business today are significantly lower than they were a few years [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 1, 2005 6:29:19 PM

» Smart New Ways Boot Old Stupid Ways from Adrants
Kathy Sierra, writing on Creating Passionate Users has put together a chart that compares the old ways of marketing to the new. Filled with gems like "Hire a creative, user-focused product designer" rather than "Hire a creative, award-winning advertis... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 2, 2005 9:51:19 AM

» Smart New Ways Boot Old Stupid Ways from Adrants
Kathy Sierra, writing on Creating Passionate Users, has put together a chart that compares the old ways of marketing to the new. Filled with gems like "Hire a creative, user-focused product designer" rather than "Hire a creative, award-winning adverti... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 2, 2005 9:53:31 AM

» Smart New Ways to Spend Your Ad or Marketing Budget from Getting Granular: The DigitalGrit Blog
At a time when many of us are indeed working out our 2006 budgets, our friends at AdRants have shared this great article from Creating Passionate Users. This is brilliant in its strategy as well as its wittiness...it looks more [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 2, 2005 1:07:01 PM

» Is blogging the new PR? from The Plenary Panel Weblog
One of things that I can guarantee at our session at EuroComm is that, when it comes to blogging, no one will have all the answers. Sure, some people know more than others, and some shout louder than others, but [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 2, 2005 1:35:54 PM

» Passion from Below Belief
http://www.gapingvoid.com/Moveable_Type/archives/002007.html http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2005/10/how_to_spend_yo.html http://thebrandbuilder.blogspot.com/2005/10/raison-detre.html Why we absolutely shouldn't hire a team of int... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 2, 2005 5:17:28 PM

» The effective £0 marketing spend strategy from AccMan Pro
This is an extract from Creating Passionate Users comparison between yesterday's and today's marketing techniques: Yesterday's model Today's Hire a brand expert Promote from within - a 'user happiness expert' Promotional newsletters Online learning for... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 2, 2005 6:39:34 PM

» The £0 approach to effective marketing from AccMan Pro
Here's Creating Passionate Users' comparison between the 'old' and 'new' ways of marketing. As you might expect, some of the existing tactics are irrelevant to UK professionals. But all those tactics with a distinct service component have significant r... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 2, 2005 7:21:13 PM

» Media plan, spend and effectivity rules from Adpunch
The other half is total wastage and I don’t know which half I’m talking about (pls don’t call me an MCP, it’s a popular phrase and has been making its round in the advertising industry for years). So, people over the ages tried to find out the... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 3, 2005 1:41:07 AM

» Intelligent marketing from mark gordon's consigliere corner
Kathy Sierra has come up with a smart look up table for intelligent marketing. Why does the advertising industry not get that the start point is getting the product right? I was at a conference the other week where a [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 3, 2005 2:44:49 AM

» Marketing Spending from Changing Way
I'm not the first to post about Kathy Sierra's advice on how to spend your marketing budget, and I won't be the last. It's a table comparing the old, or bad, way, and the new, or the good, way. Normally I loathe such tables. But Kathy's is full of g... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 3, 2005 6:30:39 AM

» inspirational marketing from .:. gotblogua .:.
Amazing to see people finding success with idealistic media ... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 3, 2005 4:25:26 PM

» oud en nieuw from elke's
[Read More]

Tracked on Nov 5, 2005 7:02:17 AM

» oud en nieuw from elke's
[Read More]

Tracked on Nov 5, 2005 7:06:00 AM

» La nueva forma de hacer publicidad from Bitacoreando
Creating Passionate Users: How to spend your marketing and ad budget No podremos los Linuxeros / AMESOLeros mexicanos pensar en éstos términos? (vía GapingVoid) ... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 7, 2005 8:24:55 AM

» Happy Links from WorkHappy.net: killer resources for entrepreneurs
9rules round 3 submission is Nov 14th for 24 hours. Polish up your blog and give it a whirl, these guys are insanely cool to work with. Jason Fried takes Bubble 2.0 to task. This is premature, cover-your-ass babble. Babble [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 7, 2005 5:41:16 PM

» How To Better Spend Your Budget from Idea Sandbox Blog
Spending wisely and more creatively is a passion of mine. You may have read some of my thoughts about more meaningful ways to spend (re: GoDaddy.com) when I was back at Brand Autopsy. Last month Kathy Sierra at Creating Passionate Users put up a post t... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 12, 2005 12:59:58 AM

» Comment dépenser votre budget marketing? from Shoob Corporate Blogging (FR)
Une brillante synthèse faite par Kathy Sierra qui nous dresse un tableau pertinent du style Avant-Maintenant. Avant : engager une entreprise PR Maintenant : ouvrir des comptes Typepad pour chaque employé et même quelques utilisateurs de vos produits Av... [Read More]

Tracked on Nov 18, 2005 2:32:55 AM

» What happened online while I was away from WilliamsWeekly.com
Innovation online still happens rapidly. I was on vacation for a month with virtually no access to the internet (except some blog updates). I'm still plowing through hundreds of entries in my feed reader so try to get back up to speed. Here are some th... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 7, 2005 9:44:10 PM

» What happened online while I was away from WilliamsWeekly.com
Innovation online still happens rapidly. I was on vacation for a month with virtually no access to the internet (except some blog updates). I'm still plowing through hundreds of entries in my feed reader so try to get back up to speed. Here are some th... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 7, 2005 9:45:18 PM

Comments

Oldway---New way
Hire a sales guy to convince prospective clients to buy the product.---Give tools to your users to get new clients.

Posted by: vishi | Oct 29, 2005 6:25:59 PM

The text in the music video is so fast, you can hardly read and understand everything. The should've showed it longer so you actually get what they want say.

Posted by: Julian | Oct 30, 2005 2:29:54 AM

Also did anyone notice, the font they're using in the McLachlan video is a free font (Blue Highway)? I guess that's another cost-cutting measure they took!

Thanks for the articles, Kathy! You sure are making passionate users out of us :)

Posted by: Rico | Oct 30, 2005 2:48:04 AM

In my mind there's not really a talk about the old way / new way. What you describe as the "old way" still works and works well. What you describe as the "new way" also works - and has worked for many years (if you look aside the internet perspective).

The "old way" is mainstream marketing. The "new way" is more of a word-of-mouth, or viral marketing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viral_marketing) approach.
The "old way" targets the masses. The "new way" targets a narrower market segment.

There is no revolution - you're just describing old terms with new terms.

Posted by: Anders Toxboe | Oct 30, 2005 5:47:00 AM

Sarah's idea was wonderful but should everyone mirror her efforts, like all good ideas, it will quickly lose its impact and the good will she has gained from her philanthropic efforts will not replicate itself through repeat efforts. At what point does "good will" lose its appeal and the bottom line, which is still being fed through this effort, rears its ugly head and the "old" way becomes the new way once again.

Posted by: Doug Craig | Oct 30, 2005 6:11:31 AM

Ooooh I'm loving this post - right up my street and totally on the money!

The world is changing fast and more importantly, the next generation are expecting many of the 'new ways' outlined as standard - the attitudes of the young people I talk/work with and the research I recently carried out reflects this!

Posted by: DK | Oct 30, 2005 1:52:44 PM

Old way----New way
Give product only to people who pay.---Give a partial experience away for free and give a better and complete experience to paying customers.

Posted by: Vishi | Oct 30, 2005 2:13:13 PM

It seems that the old way methods listed are all attempting to sell users a product or service, while the new way is more about creating the culture around the product and users in order to sell an experience--that notion of the Experience Economy.

It strikes me that the "new ways" in the table are more about doing and making things better than selling extant things. I'm heartened by the idea that creating a better experience will trump traditional advertising and marketing; I can only hope it will pan out in the real world.

And I love that Sarah McLachlan video. Astonishing, and eye-opening. I wonder what kind of impact it ultimately had on viewers, though? Most people I know who've seen it just said, "Yeah, that was really cool." I don't know that it did anything beyond the good recounted in the video itself (which is not to say it was a wasted effort).

Posted by: Max Leibman | Oct 30, 2005 4:43:51 PM

Anders -- I completely agree. There's almost nothing "new" in the "new way" column(minor exception being the blog recommendation). What I meant by "new" is that the relative strength, importance, effectiveness, value, etc. of the right side is definitely new. The "old" ways still work, sure, but for so many things today, their value is diminished or at the least -- for many things they simply aren't *needed*. When a product or service or cause can go from zero to several million people learning of it on the web within 24 - 48 hours, all without spending a dime on anything called "marketing" -- but simply because the thing is... whatever it is that causes people to talk about--THAT is definitely new. And really, really, really fortunate for those of us with ideas, and the ability to execute, but no budget and no interest in VCs.
And I never used the word "revolution". I think it's an *evolution*, supported by the Web, and made more important by the increasing difficulty of reaching a large audience through traditional approaches (assuming you even HAVE a big budget) thanks to Tivo, increased competition for attention, etc.)
Apple still benefits from plenty of traditional "old" ways, but I write mainly for those of us who are more on a Nano budget, but who would like to make a difference in the lives of our users. And the great news is that today... that can often be enough to produce at least enough success to stop us from having to take another job, so we can keep working on making whatever it is we make a better experience for the user.
But anyway Anders, I agree and I probably could have used a different word for that column.

Doug: yes, that could be a problem. At least in the meantime, it's a win either way, since it's doing some real good! And I think it's more about creativity than trying to copy what she did for that video. But I think the WOF video is important for two almost orthogonal reasons--1) the donations to charity, and 2) that it *teaches* users/fans.

Max: I don't know either -- other than a few anecdotes from people who'd kind of "forgotten" about her but were inspired to pick up her latest CD after seeing this. They were already fans at one point, though. I don't know if any converts were made, but I do know the video has been passed around quite a lot. That can't be bad for Sarah or the causes supported by the production budget.

Posted by: Kathy Sierra | Oct 30, 2005 6:12:05 PM

Rock on!!!

Check this out:
http://thebrandbuilder.blogspot.com/2005/10/raison-detre.html

:)

Posted by: olivier blanchard | Oct 30, 2005 7:00:23 PM

Lovely post.

I think we are moving into an era of customer conversations. Hence, the new way of marketing has to adapt itself to the marketplace where conversations take place. It is no more a monologue. It is no more "spray and pray". It's no more control and inform. It is no more tell and bulldoze.

Posted by: S.Swaminathan | Oct 31, 2005 8:43:09 AM

Most of the posts to this blog fit the equation:
be good to users = more success for me

It's dangerous to pigeonhole this thoughtful post to the same category, to assume that we should all donate money only so we could somehow receive a monetary benefit from it.

I'm often a cynical person but I doubt that Sarah's intentions were for personal gain. There are times that decent people make decisions that contradict the normal way of life, the normal pursuit of joy and avoidance of pain. Sometimes we do things simply because we know we ought to.

There is more purpose to life than securing your future. There's more to success than dollar signs. There are more people to look out for than just Numero Uno.

Should everyone mirror Sarah's efforts, the impact will NOT be lost. The impact will amaze us.

I think Kathy has wandered us into one of the final pieces of what Passionate Marketing (not viral marketing, mind you) is all about. It's compassion.

Posted by: Marc Peabody | Oct 31, 2005 9:28:40 AM

I want to retract part of what I stated in my last post:
"Most of the posts to this blog fit the equation:
be good to users = more success for me"
I didn't mean to imply that the purpose of this blog is to teach people to be selfish.

Forgive me if I'm being presumptuous, Kathy, but I want to attest to where your heart is and recapitulate that the philosophy of Creating Passionate Users is rooted in caring about people. Viral marketing EXPLOITS social networking. The idea of Creating Passionate Users, however, is not a selfish endeavor.

Sure, most of the time karma will make its rounds and you will reap great rewards for having cared about your users. But be warned! At times you may become a martyr for the cause. Kathy has testified to this by her story of a past employer. Yet there are worse things in store for those who don't care about their users - the users will see through the bull s**t of selfish mainstream and viral marketing schemes.

Tonight I finished a book, The Accelerated Learning Handbook, that closed with the following exemplification of a Passion Evangelist:
"The future belongs to the learners. Only those... who can continually learn will survive and thrive. And the learning that will bring the brightest future... concentrates not merely on how to make money but how to work and live in a way that honors our humanity."

Back to the topic of charity - if we are truly motivated by a passion for people, donating is done not as a marketing ploy but as a natural response to a human need. It's as inherent to us as breathing.

old way: I care about me
new way: I care about you

Posted by: Marc Peabody | Nov 1, 2005 7:25:29 PM

Hey Kathy - as a TV hater but pictorial comms lover (nice contradiction), and someone that once thought a tablet might be cool - i felt i should point out this superb story about TV and the evolution of man... which prolly took five mins to knock up but says it all
http://wickedstageact2.typepad.com/life_on_the_wicked_stage_/2005/11/ill_have_anothe.html#comment-10822923

Posted by: james governor | Nov 2, 2005 9:06:29 AM

Way up the comment stream - "the old way still works" Um, well, depends on who you talk to. For example, the folks who sell the interruption advertising are (with an increasing aura of flop sweat desperation) still screaming about commercials and such. So, don't seem to be working? We'll just do MORE! Which just gives the views more time to do things like finish cooking dinner (or switch over to HGTV.) Both of which I did last night everytime the commercial breaks started.

Seems to me the "old way" is about talk, talk, talk. The "new way" is about walking the talk and making real connections with the customer (delivering value versus noise.)

Posted by: Mary Schmidt | Nov 2, 2005 2:15:01 PM

Why do you have to "hire" a creative user-focussed product designer? I'm being pedantic but that top entry was for me a source of dissonance. Your whole company should to greater and lesser degrees be your product design team. The new way emphasises (to use an overplayed word) its holistic nature. Hiring seems to imply that certain skill-sets an attitudes are missing and I believe if you go down the new way road, then you will generate the skills within. Your later example of promoting a use rhappiness expert from within captures the essence of your thesis much better I think.

Posted by: john | Nov 2, 2005 3:17:11 PM

for some reason the trackback isn't sticking:
Microsoft Needs to Fire the soap powder marketers
http://www.redmonk.com/jgovernor/archives/001072.html

Posted by: james governor | Nov 3, 2005 10:47:39 AM

I have just carried out a translation of the chart
Thanks for the passion

http://nuhuati.zoomblog.com/archivo/2005/11/03/como-invertir-tu-presuspuesto-de-merca.html

Para aquellas personas que deseen encontrar la tabla y un poco más en español.

Posted by: Almaju | Nov 3, 2005 12:25:26 PM


http://nuhuati.zoomblog.com/archivo/2005/11/03/como-invertir-tu-presupuesto-de-mercad.html

Sorry, This is the real link.

Posted by: Almaju | Nov 3, 2005 1:42:18 PM

Thanks so much for posting this fascinating study on the old vs. new way of marketing.

Best, Wendy Maynard

Posted by: Wendy Maynard | Nov 7, 2005 12:40:58 PM

Let’s examine what benefits the brand can get from a “making a difference”
campaign to rebuild lives and communities that have been decimated:

1. Free worldwide media coverage on national news
2. Low production costs
3. A viral/word of mouth opportunity – no PR costs
5. Creating a communicative brand that cares about its customers, listen to
them and puts their money back into the community

Posted by: tamir | Nov 7, 2005 5:35:48 PM

Old way works? Maybe so. But don’t forget that traditional media has been here for about 60-70 years and things are now changing rapidly. Surveys and studies show that advertising on TV loosing its power, young adults spend more time on the net, producing their own content. It's fair enough to say the old way still works but just see what companies like Heineken, Lexus and others are doing with their advertising budget.

this is where you can read more about my last post
http://www.omg.tv/blog/

Posted by: tamir | Nov 7, 2005 6:08:39 PM

I love this blog!!!! Thank you so much! Shel Israel was in our offices this week and we came across this blog while we were looking around the blogosphere. I'm back to reread and mull it over.

We are a new little company YackPack in the throes of trying to figure out who we are and what we are. One thing we know is that we want to put the customer and user experience first and we don't have huge marketing money to bring in a huge user-base. I just got started...I'll be reading more!

Posted by: Melissa | Nov 11, 2005 11:17:38 AM

Who Else Wants To Start Their Own Gift Basket Business, & Earn A Fortune Working In A Fun Business That You Absolutely Love!.

Posted by: Nima Sherpa | Feb 11, 2007 10:18:03 PM

I went through this article... but i don know how can i utilize it with my marketing plan. confused i need visitors on my site...

Posted by: Gautam | Jun 13, 2007 12:15:13 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.