Advertising - Why You Should Do More in Tough Times

April 3, 2012
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When the going gets tough, you might be forgiven for thinking it's best to reduce spending
on advertising.

After all, isn't the kind of customer who can be persuaded to purchase by a cheeky promotion
when prosperous also the one most likely to postpone that buy when pinching their pennies?
In other words, won't they be the least committed and the first to make themselves unavailable?

And anyway, shouldn't you be more focused on shaving down costs, rather than splurging
across glossy mags? Not so, says Vincent-Wayne Mitchell of Cass Business School.

Mitchell contends that there are some very sound reasons for increasing investment
in advertising during periods of austerity.

He says that almost every study shows that advertising spend is very closely related to
business performance and that this remains true regardless of economic conditions.

But before you reach for your cheque book, here are Mitchell's top tips for working
out whether you're well placed to benefit from advertising your way through a downturn:

Your company ...

1. Should already have a strong emphasis on marketing
2. Should be entrepreneurial and innovative by nature
3. Should have resources to spare
4. Should be flexible in its ability to reallocate resources to exploit opportunity

And your brand ...

1. Should be positionable as a value brand
2. Should be capable of spawning a 'no frills' sub-brand
3. Should be able to make an economic case for itself that justfies customers paying a premium,
   such as lower whole life costs

If this sounds like you, get on the attack and start spending, because Mitchell says you could
be well placed to capture market share from your weaker competitors (who'll be forced into partial
retreat).

You also stand to capture new customers, as they are more inclined to switch brands
as they seek best value when money's tight.

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