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Advertising Through a Recession

The idea that hard times present opportunities to the prepared is not new; examples of companies, even industries, who grew out of past recessions are impressive. FedEx, Microsoft, and Burger King are just a few on the list.

recession chartRecessions tend to have a 'take a long, hard look at yourself' effect on companies and spin-offs, new products, and refined brands are the result.

The discipline of advertising during a recession is a hard one for companies to stomach and occasionally those dollars get cut before the yearly office trip to Orlando. But taking a look at historical evidence, companies who view advertising as an investment (just like office trips are an investment in employee happiness) instead of an expense benefit from:

  • an expanding customer base
  • better market share as competition falls off
  • better value - advertising rates tend to fall
  • a better-defined brand name
  • expanded product opportunity

This is not an argument to 'spend money to make money', rather a comment that, as tools go, the discipline of advertising can be used very effectively to plant a company soundly during shakedowns. And better-focused advertising is even more effective. Walmart recently cut its advertising costs by over 20%, yet increased share of voice by 67% through targeted spending (1).

In addition, companies who stop advertising have to spend more to regain market share when they do restart. (Looking for appropriate citation, trust me - it's true.)

Fine, but where does the money come from?

This time around, businesses have a bit more ammo in their belt during a tight economy. Social marketing, solid web solutions, cheaper TV and radio buys, and a host of guerrilla campaign techniques mean the money doesn't have to be as much a factor. Even more interesting, the walls that separated big-budget campaigns and low-budget ones are not as high; smart small companies can go toe-to-toe with larger ones for the consumer's attention.

Summing it up: Expanding market share with a tight budget is possible with targeted advertising campaigns.

11.11.2010. 14:26

All material is copyright by Darren Leet Incorporated and may not be reproduced without expressed consent. If you like it, pass it around, but please respect intellectual property.
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