The Emergency Advertising Budget

One of the budgetary decisions that is rarely discussed or addressed is the emergency budget. When plotting the budget on a quarterly or annually basis, the current market and past trending, combined with growth projections, makeup the formula for ad spending. While the formula is different for every business, the basic components are usually the same, and there is very little deviation from the plan with respect to budget. Disaster advertising or radical market shifts are rarely planned for, but should be figured in to the plan.

When something like Sept. 11 happens, and radical thought shifts on the part of advertisers and the public happen, meetings immediately happen to decide how to approach the new lay of the land, and invariably the wrong decisions are made. Cutting back ad spending in crisis times is a sure way to go out of business, as you are not providing the lifesblood your sales need, at the time wen they need it most. This is observed time and time again, when the economic outlook is poor, when a business begins to sow slower sales, and when something bad happens to change the public’s current spending habits. The first thought is to save the business by cutting back on ad spending. What nobody thinks about in these times is that your sales depend on your advertising, and it is not an add on.

Taking your current budget and adding 20% to the top of it per month is a good way to look at emergency times. The shift in the public’s spending habits must be countered in order to level sales, by bringing in new customers or increasing customer spending. This must be budgeted in to be available for a period of six months, sustained monthly.