There are so many recession clichés.
1. We’re closer to the bottom than the top
2. It will get worse before it gets better
3. People are changing their spending habits
4. Right sizing (this means people lose their jobs)
5. Workforce reduction (this also means people lose their jobs)
6. There is still a lot of pain to be doled out
7. Any recovery will take years not months
8. People were using their homes as an ATM
9. This is a crisis of confidence
10. An opportunity exists to grab market share at lower costs
And those are just a few – I bet you can come up with so many more.
The last one may not be as popular but being a marketing guy I think it might be the most important. In the current culture of expense slashing and burning, marketing budgets have also taken a major hit. No doubt some of that is warranted (John Wanamaker’s famous words ‘Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half – still ring true today).
And most marketers are aware that there are great opportunities out there to have a louder voice since so many companies are pulling advertising dollars out. Yet people are still buying things – less expensive things but still buying. Recent data suggests an uptick in consumer spending. I’ve seen municipal associations promote the going out to restaurants as a way to save city jobs and contribute to the economic recovery as a whole.
My company has taken to investing in research and development to an even greater degree since opportunities for learning have not been this good in years. Some of our clients are moving away from tried and true channels like mail and on-page advertising to – direct response television? Yes since media time AND the production costs for a television commercial have not been this cheap for years. And they may not be again for a long, long, time.
I have clients and associates who are having a great 2009 so far. It can happen! And it inspires me and makes me feel that we are on the beginning of the upslope on the other side of the trough. There’s another cliché. They flow so easily.
So join me in encouraging marketers to redouble their efforts to get the most bang for their buck (yeah I know). All that is at stake is your present and your future.