David and Goliath: What Small Businesses Can Learn from P&G’s Cost-Cutting Exercise

Here are three lessons entrepreneurs can learn from P&G’s latest cost-cutting exercise.

2. Adjust your ad-to-sales ratio to lineup with your unique business goals.

“More interestingly, (P&G) finally seems to have woken up to the fact that he cannot keep increasing P&G’s ad budget forever, regardless of what happens to its sales.”

When asked, “What should we spend on advertising?” It’s not uncommon for businesses to find a magic number and stick to it year after year. For example, P&G consistently spends, on average, within the 9% to 11% range, according to McDonald. And for most companies, as sales increase so does ad expenditure. But before you grow accustomed to benchmark dependency, don’t fail to look at the bigger picture – overall cost centers, market share, saturation and so forth.

There is a point at which one more dollar invested will yield a diminished return. Industry benchmarks are the first step. Look at the entire marketing toolkit – not just advertising – to ensure that you’re hard earned dollars are working effectively and efficiently.

3. Develop and leverage online marketing strategies to maximize short-term sales and brand equity.

“Social Media can be ‘more efficient’ than traditional media that usually eats the lion’s share of larger companies ad budgets.”

When it comes to advertising, social media (online media in general) is definitely more efficient than traditional media (Print, TV, Radio, Out of Home, etc.). While traditional media definitely has its place in the mix for some brands, small businesses and startups should not dismiss the effectiveness and efficiency of a properly developed and managed online campaign. Generally, many startups shy away from social media or online marketing based on the assumption that the ROI is not there. However, that’s simply not true.

With the plethora of tracking tools available for social media platforms, you can easily assess the audience you’ve reached and gain real-time feedback on what is working and what’s not. Don’t ignore the long-term value and opportunity to build thought leadership, attract new inbound leads, gain customer feedback and maximize awareness through online media. It’s a brave new digital world.

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Photo Credit: AdMavericks



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