Beakbane is a Toronto branding agency. We specializing in brand strategy, communications, and graphic design in print, web, and package design.
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Last night (Dec. 7th, 2010) the Marketing Planning Group of the American Marketing Association hosted a networking and learning event called Deciding the right mix in a new world of exploding choices. The fundamental question was this: how can marketers balance new and old media in terms of their budget and resource planning?

On the panel to address this question were senior marketing professionals from: Rogers Communications, Astral Media, Aeroplan, Shoutlet, M Consulting and the United Jewish Appeal.

new media, panel, ama,

AMA Panelists and the moderator Alan Kay

While every situation is unique and will call for different tactics, this is the answer I took away from the event.


Tarik Qahawish (Aeroplan) said that marketing managers should approach their budgets with a 70-20-10 split. Allocate 70% for tactics and channels you know will produce positive ROI, 20% for new media that you’re pretty sure is working, and then 10% to experiment with new media…and accept the possibility of failure. The goal is to move tactics from the 10% group to the 20% group.

Roll the dice strategically

Mark Farmer (Rogers) added to Tarik’s comment by calling the 10% “strategic bets”. Companies who don’t bet will be left behind. He also pointed out that companies must be willing to lose a bit in the beginning in exchange for establishing early-presence. In this way, when technologies and audiences are ready for you, you don’t have to play catch-up.

Still gotta have content

Michael Alexandor (Astral) reinforced the importance of narrative. You must have something interesting to communicate to/with your audience. Otherwise, customers won’t engage with you, and your mobile marketing campaign, while technically excellent, is impotent from a communications standpoint.

Know who you’re talking to

Bruce Runions (Shoutlet), Bill Mohri (M Consulting), and Jeremy Otto (United Jewish Appeal) elevated the importance of having a plan, knowing your audience (especially where they are), and setting objectives.

Have an out and double-down while you can

Bill Mohri recommended having an exit strategy and sticking with it, as well as getting management approval on more media funds than you actually need. This way you can react quickly to success.


There was yet more to learn and subjects we didn’t have time to address (such as mobile marketing). Hopefully at our next event we can dive deeper.

If you have any comments about this event, or suggestions for future themes, please contact me through the American Marketing Association, Beakbane or LinkedIn.

Marc Koetzle

Co-Chair, Marketing Planning Group

American Marketing Association, Toronto Chapter