William Joseph Communications

Stampede Marketers, Where Art Thou?

Get your cowboy boots, hats, and sunscreen ready, because Stampede season is here!

While the Calgary Stampede is a summer event that Calgarians (and especially us here at WJ) anticipate, there is a noticeable lull this year. Have you felt it?

In 2012, Calgary celebrated its 100th Stampede, and the city was packed with stampede-themed advertisements, decorations and, of course, parties. This year, though, we’re not seeing the same level of Stampede advertising (even the coveted Cowboy’s Stampede party isn’t sold out yet). Although the economy is slowly starting to get better here in Alberta, there appears to be less participation and less marketing from local businesses surrounding the Stampede.

While this is to be expected, we’re here to tell you that the value of marketing and demonstrating your commitment to the community in which you operate cannot be underestimated. In times of economic downturn, the concept of community is more important than ever. While consumers are spending less, communicating the idea that “we’re in this together” can help relate you to your target audience, who will subsequently develop a positive connection with your brand.

This is especially so during the Calgary Stampede – an event which only four years ago brought Calgarians together in a strong, emotional and unexpected way during the chaos and stress of extreme flooding. While spending capital on marketing may seem like it will cast a negative light on your brand, especially when falling oil prices have affected our city so greatly, it’s understandable that you’re cautious; however, a little can go a long way in terms of marketing.

Not sure what to think? Here are some things to consider:

Your brand is your most important asset

Your brand is one of your most valuable assets. Organizations which support efforts aimed at improving their brand and reputation are the organizations which are the strongest (and come out with the highest profit margins, even in a downturned economy).  Recessions don’t last forever, and businesses which recognize this fact and think long-term are the ones which succeed. What does that mean for you? Spending capital on improving your reputation and ensuring your brand is strongly represented amongst consumers and the community is not a waste of money. An investment in marketing is an investment in improving your brand equity, and that is just smart investing. See our previous blog on reputation versus brands here.

While your marketing budget may seem like an easy cut, consider this: a cost-cutting analysis of 1,000 firms during previous economic downturns produced by PIMS (Profit Impact Marketing Strategy) found that the most successful firms cut costs in manufacturing, administration, and spare capacity, and those that cut marketing budgets take a much harder hit profit-wise. Research conducted by AdWeek in 2009 similarly found that firms which cut marketing budgets during recessions saw sales fall anywhere from 20-30% over the following two years as a result. That’s a major loss.

Don’t make it about you – make it about them

While you may not have the marketing budget you once did, consider shifting your focus to your consumers who are also affected by the economy. For example, when do you think Calgarians most need your positivity, support and community involvement more than right now?

This doesn’t mean that it’s time for a big budget, flashy billboards and an aggressive social media strategy. What it means is show that you care, that you’re in it together and, most importantly, that you’re willing to show up for them. In other words, make an emotional connection between your audience and brand by playing a part in local and community-driven events, such as the Calgary Stampede. As AdWeek puts it, “word of mouth is a powerful amplifier”, and showing support for your community can build an emotional bond between your brand and your consumers, get mouths moving, and help to improve your overall reputation.

Maybe the economic climate means that you can’t sponsor as big of a Stampede pancake breakfast as you once did; however, there are still ways to add value. Consider how you can save consumers money or time, or think about showing your employees how much you appreciate their dedication by sending personalized thank-you’s for all of their hard work (they are your biggest brand ambassadors, after all). Of course, this advice can be taken into consideration for any relevant community-centred event, not just the ones that involve plaid, short-shorts and cowboys.

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Friday, December 7th, 2018 at 2:37pm
We love our incredible clients and are grateful to work with them everyday! So, we were super excited this week when we got to be Santa and deliver WJ presents to all of them! #YXE team with @PattisonKids https://t.co/UYH4zKtBVd wj_agency photo
Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 at 1:28pm
Check out Ryan's latest Global Saskatoon ADvice segment on how to maximize your marketing efforts during the holiday season! https://t.co/i4lvSYxTon
Monday, December 3rd, 2018 at 1:55pm
A Christmas gift for you all! We are hosting a holiday session to help our business owner/marketing manager friends get a jump start on their marketing for 2019. We have a few spots left so we hope you can join us this Wednesday, Dec 5th at 11:30 a.m.! https://t.co/VBimH6XZYu
Friday, November 30th, 2018 at 12:32pm
Because we know Santa visits all of our locations, here are a few shots of our Saskatoon office! We are BIG Christmas fans at WJ! https://t.co/2bVmRK6lfT wj_agency photo
Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 at 2:01pm
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William Joseph Communications

We are the difference between momentary achievement and enduring success.Your success requires an agency that offers a fully integrated solution. One that has the vision to see beyond your current borders and the troops to guide you there. With us as your allies, be confident that you can achieve your boldest ambitions. At William Joseph we offer complete marketing solutions composed of strategies, tactics, and designs that effectively tell your story and address your unique marketing goals. Everything from advertising campaigns to experiential design, our team takes your corporate identity and translates it through a wide array of mediums to successfully champion your company.
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsMonday, December 10th, 2018 at 12:00pm
In the spirit of the holiday season, we ask you to support our client, the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, and participate in this year's Dream Home Lottery.

The proceeds from this event will go to support the Centre and its mission to empower children and families impacted but abuse.

We're so incredibly humbled to work with such a wonderful organization and are proud of the brand we were able to create for them!
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsFriday, December 7th, 2018 at 5:10pm
We love our incredible clients and are grateful to work with them everyday! So, we were super excited this week when we got to be Santa and deliver WJ presents to all of them! Check out Preston and Monique from the YXE office dropping off flowers to the team at Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation!
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph Communications added 13 new photos — with Victoria MacLean Reade.Thursday, December 6th, 2018 at 11:22pm
Thanks everyone for coming out to our Christmas Ryan’s Roundup! Everyone left with a little gift from WJ and a lot of holiday spirit. See you all in 2019!
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsThursday, December 6th, 2018 at 4:59pm
William Joseph was featured in Calgary's Business today!

Despite the many ups and downs of our economy, William Joseph has continued to grow as a business every year since our inception, and for that we are incredibly grateful.

As we finish our 15th year of business, we've had a lot of time to reflect and look back on our journey. Click the link to read more.
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph Communications added 8 new photos.Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 at 11:32pm
William Joseph was out tonight celebrating the holidays with our great partner, Ranchman’s! Thanks Doug and Wendy for hosting such a wonderful party. I wonder if Santa asked our CEO if he was naughty or nice?!?

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