Bank bailouts. Frozen credit markets. Increasing foreclosure rates. There's no doubt times are tough and are likely going to get tougher as we head into 2009.
As a recent study cited by Advertising Age confirms, many firms unfortunately react to bad economic news by slashing marketing and advertising budgets. In fact, more than half of the marketing executives surveyed said that their budgets will be cut for 2009.
But savvy marketers know that tough times like these present an opportunity.
As Harvard Business School Professor John Quelch notes in Marketing Your Way Through a Recession, "It is well documented that brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times."
Indeed, an oft-quoted McGraw Hill study published in 1986 showed that companies which maintained or expanded their marketing efforts during the 1981-82 recession grew at a faster rate than those which didn't, both during the recession and after the economy recovered.
So be brave! Yes, times are tough, but tough times also present an opportunity for those with the fortitude to move forward. Rest assured, your bravery will be rewarded when good times return.
Over the next few days, we'll examine some proven promotional products strategies that will keep your business out front during tough times.