Three penny-pinching ideas

These dark days have words like 'cost' and 'cutting' on the lips of many. To abet the ongoing quest for frugality, we asked some experts to share their top tech-enabled cost saving ideas.

These dark days have words like ‘cost’ and ‘cutting’ on the lips of many. To abet the ongoing quest for frugality, we asked some experts to share their top tech-enabled cost saving ideas.

1. Social Media: Pennywise prevents pound foolish

Conventional media can be costly, and when marketers are short on resources, social media can provide a low-cost and effective alternative, as well as a quick reality check. The ability to monitor web-based conversations in real time can help pinpoint optimal immediate resource deployment. Annette Warring, COO of Toronto-based Genesis Vizeum, notes that the deeper insights that result are critical given their ability to improve the effectiveness of marketing initiatives and their ROI.

‘Such insights can ensure dollars are allocated against the right target, can extend awareness and help build brand affinity through blogs,’ explains Warring. ‘Most importantly, they provide the opportunity to refine and optimize initiatives based on real-time insights from consumers.’

2. Proprietary Tools: If you automate it, efficiencies will come

Ad agencies can help when the piggybank shrinks by streamlining processes to free up time and ultimately increase cost efficiency. Aldo Cundari, chairman and CEO of Cundari Group, sites AdBuilder as a proprietary product that does just that. It’s a web browser-based tool that provides templates for creating and managing print, online and POS ads for local retailers – just one of a suite of applications that the company has in its arsenal to white label for its clients.

‘Combined with a managed asset system, [AdBuilder] has simplified the retailer’s ad creation process, as well as eliminated common errors associated with the broad range of typical retailer ad development,’ says Cundari.

3. Online Video Ads: Now with real actors!

Online video represents 10% of all online ad revenue in the United States, whereas in Canada it accounts for less than 1%. We know there’s an audience out there, and that the real estate is less pricey than conventional spot hoods. So, what gives? In large part, the lag was due to substantial talent costs that proved prohibitive to Canadian advertisers, who instead made do with static ads with little, if any, animation. Now that the performer fees have an online-friendly scale, Ron Lund, president of the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) believes that the potential of online video in Canada is soon to be unleashed.

‘The ACA, together with the ICA (Institute of Communication Agencies), has negotiated a new two-year pilot project with the performers’ union ACTRA, which includes very reasonable talent fee rates for ‘made-for’ online video spots,’ says Lund. ‘Watch for real, live, warm-bodied, emoting persons coming soon to an online ad near you.’