As I meet with numerous business owners and managers, I ask what they are doing to promote their business’s products or services. More often than not, many say that times are tough and that they cannot afford to advertise. Many are struggling. They complain that business is bad and that new customers are not learning about their offerings.
For much of my career, I planned and directed advertising strategies and tactics for Wegmans Food Markets, known world-wide for their innovation and marketing tenacity. Wegmans was not always the dynamic regional market leader that they are today. Wegmans benefitted from challenging economic times as a result of developing powerful, high quality advertising campaigns to communicate their offerings. When their competitors cut back on their advertising, Wegmans stood out. When the dust settled, they were standing strong while many of their competitors had expired.
So, to businesses large and small alike, established and startups, I say… develop a strong marketing plan and advertise –advertise – advertise! To support my advice, I offer the following article from American Business Media…
The Value of Advertising During an Economic Downturn
History has proven companies that maintain or increase their advertising investments in periods of economic downturns increase their sales and share of market, both during and after the downturn.
Here are the facts:
- Maintaining or increasing advertising budget levels during economic downturns may be necessary in terms of protecting market position vis-à-vis forward looking competitors.1
- If a company fails to maintain its “Share of Mind” during an economic downturn, current and future sales are jeopardized. Maintaining “Share of Mind” costs much less than rebuilding it later on.2
- If during an economic downturn you maintain a strong advertising presence while your competitor cuts his budget, you will automatically increase your “Share of Mind.”3
- Advertising through both boom and down times sustains the necessary brand recognition.4
- Maintaining a company’s advertising during an economic downturn will give the image of corporate stability within a chaotic business environment, and give the advertiser the chance to dominate the advertising media.5
- Economic downturns reward the aggressive advertiser and penalize the timid one.6
- During an economic downturn, a strong advertising/marketing effort enables a firm to solidify its customer base, take business away from less aggressive competitors, and position itself for future growth during the recovery.7
- When times are good, you should advertise; when times are bad, you must advertise.8
- Advertising in an economic downturn should be regarded not as a drain on profits, but as a contributor to profits.9
1How Advertising in Recession Periods Affect Sales, American Business Media
3San Diego Executive Magazine
4Making A Recession Work For You, American Business Media
6The Strategic Planning Institute
7Coopers & Lybrand
8Making A Recession Work For You, American Business Media
9Harvard Business Review
By Fred Kopp – IDEAMAKER