The Impact of Financial Crisis on Marketing Practices and Budgets in Central and Eastern Europe

The most common challenge faced by marketers in a recession is budget constraints. According to a study made this summer in CEE region by Linea Directa Communications, a direct marketing and call centre company, companies with small marketing budgets dominate in terms of study participants, budgets undering 250.000 EUR being reported especially in Hungary (89,4%), Russia (88,6%) and Romania (85,4%).

The biggest budgets, above 1.000.000EUR are meet in small percentages in Czech (5,4%), Slovakia (4,9%), Poland (4,5%) and Slovenia (4,3%).

Marketing budgets suffered in 2009 a lot of modifications

In 2009 the biggest cuts in marketing budgets are made in Russia (28,6%) and Romania (22,7%), companies reducing budgets up to 30%. Similar budgets as in 2008 are in big percentages in Hungary (44,4%), Slovenia (43,9%) and Poland (43,4%).

On the other hand, there are also companies investing in marketing communications, countries such as Russia (19,6%), Poland (19,2%) or Slovenia (16,2%).

This money are spent in 30-70% mainly in internet promotion (using banners, blogs, social networks, etc.), catalogues, mass marketing (TV, newspapers, radio) and events&fairs organization. The smallest budgets (representing max 30% from marketing budgets) are allocated for sending SMS& Mobile Marketing, telemarketing, direct mailing and emailing.

As communication channels, the most used are internet (using banners, blogs, social networks, etc.), e-mailing, catalogs distribution, fair&events organization. In the end we have SMS and mobile marketing, drop mail and PR, considered to be less important channels.

“This shows that companies are orientated to the marketing activities that can be measured in order to become more effectiveness, but not to much. There are still less popular channels such as telemarketing and mobile marketing that are not to much used. The advantages offered by these channels consist not only in direct interaction with customers, but also in using a wide range of services. Therefore telemarketing is a great tool not only in sales increasing, but also for testing new offers, market research to measure customers satisfaction. Telemarketing can be used also to generate sales prospects, to establish business meetings or to respond to clients that required by phone specific informations about a particular product or service”, said Dejan Grbic, Head of Business Development at Linea Directa Communications.

According to the study, companies organize marketing campaign in order to increase the number of clients, to improve customer retantion and loyalty and maximize the existing customers through additional sales. Also companies take in consideration to develop databases used later in their communication campaign, to create a better awarness and repositioning for brand/ products.

For direct marketing companies, like also Linea Directa Communications, 2009 has meant the continuation of collaborations started in previous years, but also new projects developed with big companies but also with medium ones.

“We noticed this year even a greater interest for our services, this meaning for us both locally and internationally development, offering in the same time an increasing number of jobs on the romanin labor market”, added Dejan Grbic.

In CEE region many are speaking now about outsourcing as a cost saving measure for the companies.

o In Czech is the biggest percentage of companies outsourcing direct marketing activities (74,4%), followed by Poland (61,5%) and Romania (36,5).

o On the over hand, 84,8% of companies are not outsourcing in Hungary, 74,6% in Slovakia, 68,6% in Slovenia and 46,7% in Russia. These companies are not outsourcing direct marketing activities because they have internally resources to do these operations or can not afford it because they have low communication budgets or they don’t have enough informations about the process of outsourcing, what is about and what kind of benefits brings.

The most outsourced direct marketing activities are the newest channels of communication such as Internet promotion (banners, Google adwords, bloging, social networking), fairs& events preparation and mass marketing (TV, billboard, newspapers), addressable direct mail and catalogue distribution. Les outsourced are telemarketing, emailing, drop mail and SMS or Mobile marketing.

The study was conducted in 7 countries: Czech, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia and Slovakia. Overall, participated managers from different industries ctive in IT, finance, FMCG, Pharma, auto, retail, telecommunications, tourism and utilities.

Linea Directa Communications is part of the Studio Moderna Group, one of the biggest and fastest developing direct marketing and call center companies. The group coverage 19 markets in CEE providing services in 22 international languages. The main activities are databases management, loyalty and lead generation programs, telesales, Info-Line and Help Desk services, SMS campaigns, market researchs, Lettershop and Pick & Pack and payment processing.

Stay at Home Moms – Make Money With Postcard Marketing

With the surge of everyone wanting to start a home based business, stay at home moms now have the opportunity to make some serious money working form home. Being a stay at home mom I know that time can be a restraint, so you will need to start a simple, profitable business that doesn’t require a lot of your time. There is no easier way to make money from home than with postcard marketing.

The reason I recommend stay at home moms start a postcard marketing business from home is because it only requires an hour or two of work each day to be successful. This hour or two of work per day consists of placing address labels and stamps to the back of your postcards so that they can be mailed out to a list of targeted prospects.

The key for success with postcard marketing is to find a hot product with a large and hungry buying crowd. Once you have the product and buyers, you should focus on finding a reputable list broker. A list broker will assist you in finding the right mailing list of potential buyers for the product or service you are marketing and trying to sell. Your mailing list is vital to your success and if you screw this part of the plan up, your success will be limited.

Once you’ve chosen your product and found a good list broker, you now need to design a high converting postcard. Your postcards should be written in a way that gets people to take action. You can have people call a hotline phone number or you can have them go directly to your website where you’re selling your product. Either option will work, but your postcard must get them to take action.

As a stay at home mom if you can put all of the elements listed in this article together you can build yourself a very profitable home business utilizing direct mail techniques for postcard marketing.

Who Has Control of the World Commodity Markets?

The ability to control monetary policy and interest rates is among the strongest controls over the commodity markets, financial markets, money supply, and currency underpinnings. The control of currency and the Forex markets directly and indirectly influences and alters the world monetary system. There are several large and powerful groups which lie outside this main power base, and they often have the ability to change the outcome for the better!

There are many theories about true world control and the ability for this to exist in a dynamic manner. As money and assets shift over time from the US and Europe to Asia, South America, and the Middle East, one can observe the drive to control for land, technology, patents, money, water, food, language, equity markets, and interest rates. Interest rates are one of the most transparent ways to spot the difference in policies and opinions.

As commodity prices shift and fortunes rise and fall, there is little chance that money alone dominates the world resources. The power bases of each continent is linked to large quantities of different valuable natural resources. As food and water shortages arise, these areas could demand more importance than energy and mining commodities.

Europe currently has a negative LIBOR. Many countries in Europe have 10 year bond rates which are positive, while Japan and Sweden have negative 10 year bond rates. Several countries including Japan, Switzerland and France have negative rates for short terms. Does the annual Forbes 400 hold the secret to international power, in addition to money and equity.

Forbes Magazine creates a list of the most powerful and important politically people in the world. The list often includes Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. Could they substantially impact the commodity markets in collusion with Goldman Sachs or Koch? It is commonly understood that the power behind the world interest, currency, and commodity markets is wide and scattered. Have recent international oil markets and currency swings moved the base of power behind these markets?

There are reportedly 13 families which run the world including:

Li (Chinese)
Van Duyn
The Merovingian (European Royal Families)

Another source indicates that a different thirteen groups rule the world economy including:

Rothschild (Bauer or Bower) – France
Cavendish (Kennedy)
De Medici Royal Family of Italy
Hapsburg Royal Family of Austria
Romanov – Royal Family of Russia
Sinclair (St. Clair)
Warburg (del Banco)
Windsor (Saxe-Coburg-Gothe) -Royal Family of England, UK, and Scotland

These lists contain several of the same large families. It is interesting to note that the power and money of Europe are largely hidden, unreported, or disguised in family trusts, land holdings, and corporate shells. The royal family power and money has existed for over a thousand years. The newly emerging power base in China derived from USA and Canadian acquisitions is bold and unseen in an overall value format per country. Changes in foreign asset ownership challenge long-term balance sheets in this world built on foreign trade.

Can the large fortunes or families dictate interest rates, money supply, commodity prices, and Forex currency? Interest rates have been controlled in NYC through the derivatives markets. The silver market was dominated briefly by the Hunt family. The copper market has been tightly traded several times over the last two decades. It seems possible that the transfer of natural resource control and foreign assets to China may create a new tipping point. The demand for natural resources in product creation gives China a large weapon to use against their trading partners.

What happens as China uses their money to purchase assets rather than financial instruments? The power balance shift is clearly ahead and competes with export tariffs to inflict monetary pain on North America. It has long been thought that Asia could shift its investing into assets rather than financial instruments.