Forecast - Marketing During a Recession

“2009 is all about shaking up the marketing industry as you know it. The recession will have far-reaching effects, but that’s not the only challenge that lies ahead. Here are the first of six forecasts to help you prepare for the rest of the year.

Forecast #1: Businesses that continue to market during the recession will become very profitable and successful by 2010."

Wow! Some think that amongst all the doom and gloom of present day economics, great opportunities abound where great difficulties exist.

The above quote is by Craig Huey, President of the Creative Direct Marketing Group. At first glance you may think that his comments are spurred on by his own needs to generate business in these troubling times, but a look at history would suggest differently.

A McGraw Hill research study of recessionary marketing, which examined 600 companies over 5 years, revealed those that maintained or increased their advertising during a recession posted an average sales growth of 256%.

In the last recession, only 25% of companies increased their marketing. As a result, their average market share growth outpaced other businesses by 2.5 times.

For those that continue to concentrate on their prospect marketing efforts to gain advantage it is critical to know who your customer is. The ongoing recession has caused a great upheaval in demographics and you may be surprised to see that your perception of “who your customer is” has changed dramatically.

Example: Because of the times, John and Susie could not afford their big house and had to relocate to an apartment in a nearby neighborhood. When they had an apartment in earlier days they did not have a pet, but when forced to move they could not part with “Rascal” that by now was part of the family. They loved shopping at the pet store in their old neighborhood, but because you’re previous efforts to distinguish “who your customer is” your marketing efforts did not include them. Even though their housing and income changed their family needs did not.

Some marketers will make a fatal or crippling decision to cut back on their prospect marketing efforts as part of cost cutting efforts or the fear that the worst is yet to come but the last five recessions point to one inescapable fact:

Those companies that continue to market will be more profitable and dominant in their categories in the next 12 to 18 months.

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