Marketing in Turbulent Times
Opportunity, Not Grim Reaper, Knocking on Your Door
During uncertain times, when people are not spending, marketers should consider this phase as an opportunity rather than a curse. Invest further in your marketing instead of waiting for a change in market conditions. This tactic is supported by the following findings revealed by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, reported in a commissioned study, Advertising in a Recession, by Bernard Ryan Jr.
1. The Buchen Advertising study tracked sales after the 1949, '54, '58 and '61 recessions. It found that sales and profits dropped off at companies that cut back on advertising. The findings also revealed that sales lagged after the recession for those companies that cut back during the recession.
2. The 1970 and 1979 studies by ABP/Meldrum & Fewsmith substantiated the Buchen study. It reported that higher sales and net income were achieved by those companies that maintained their advertising than those that cut it altogether.
3. Following the 1981-82 recession, McGraw-Hill Research's Laboratory of Advertising Performance reported that "business-to-business firms that maintained or increased their advertising expenditures during the 1981-82 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth both during the recession and for the following three years than those which eliminated or decreased advertising."
It might even be tempting to "ride it out"-to do absolutely nothing until things turn around. But this passive approach yields passive results. Nothing will happen while you're waiting, and when things do turn around, the business will go to the people who've been doing something all along. "The people who will get the lion's share of the business-both now and in the future-are the ones who work to build relationships," says Michael Beck, head "zookeeper" at ClientMonkey.com, a marketing strategies website dedicated to getting more clients.
I'm not forgetting your fears. I understand that it's frightening to dip into your budget to keep on spending when the economy is slow. But to stay ahead of your competition, it should be a priority for your company. Fortunately, it can be done without spending $2 million for a Super Bowl commercial.