April 27th, 2010 | Edwin Dearborn, Chief Brand Officer

Now that we are getting over the DT’s from the high wine of easy credit, it is important to understand how we were caught wth our marketing pants down. You see, easy money makes you lazy and undisciplined. Like Paris Hilton, there is no need for responsibility when there is enough money to bail yourself out of any mess. And so it happened with the marketing budget.

Now if you are having a hard time recalling what a marketing budget is, that is because for over a decade American businesses developed a serious case of Alzheimers. This set in after we killed the marketing plan. Why have a budget, when we do not even need a plan? Why plan, when you can borrow?

What replaced the marketing plan was easy credit. If you got into trouble, you didn’t need to develop a better plan, a more intelligent methodology of how to get yourself out of debt, and even more to the point, become profitable as a business. You simply applied for more credit. And like a crack addict, we got in deeper and deeper, never addressing the original source of pain that drove us to our own self-destruction.

What is needed now, for each of us to crawl back up the ladder of financial responsibility, is to develop a plan of action that includes how to better market our skills and products. This must include a strong positioning for our brand, an clear identification of our key market, a budget that we adhere to and to treat that budget as an investment versus that as a discretionary budget item that we cut down when we panic.

We have to turn to intelligence and better planning when we panic, not easier methods of fast money that eventually drowns us.

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