Australian marketers new strategy

July 28, 2009
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, MELBOURNE, Jul 28 – In a sign of the times, product launches are stuck in holding patterns across Australia as marketers reduce the cash they spend on branding during the current gloomy economic climate, according to a new study.

Research company Core Data collected the numbers on behalf of an Australia-based digital publisher, quizzing more than 288 marketing professionals Australia-wide, looking to gain insight into what the next quarter holds for product branding down under.

Released July 27, the News Digital Media report, grimly titled "Accountability the top issue facing marketers today," found marketers are under the pump from all directions with the end result for consumers being a delay in the anticipated arrival of fresh brands and products in the fairly staid marketplace.

Ed Smith, chief commercial officer at News Digital Media said, "Many [marketers] are reducing their spend on brand advertising and marketing with many putting launches on hold."

According to the survey, marketers are under the hammer from topside, with reporting cycles becoming shorter term (for 57% of respondents), while planning cycles have become shorter too, as a result of the economic downturn, according to almost half of those surveyed.

Richard Stenlake, Director of the Sydney-based Made Agency said that everyone from those in charge of "new property developments to flavours of donut" are holding out for better times.

"If things go well from here, I think Oz can expect an invasion of product names for summer, but for the moment it’s batten down the hatches."

Ad and creative budgets down under are unsurprisingly also being cut with some 62% of marketers experiencing belt tightening cuts in the current financial year as a result of the economic doldrums.

With so many marketers putting new brand launches on hold (22%), the study suggests that a migration to "lower risk" strategies is on the cards – meaning that everyone is starting to look for ways to cut costs and get a product on the market at a good price.

NDM’s Ed Smith, says the report shows that the age of fireworks and flashy product launches may be on hold – at least in the short term.

"Marketers across Australia are feeling the pressure of today’s economic environment as we all try to do more with less."

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