Forget About A Recovery?

Posted: December 21, 2009
Written by: Paul Entin
Category: Economics

Forget about a "recovery". Nearly every publisher selling ad space is claiming we're "entering an economic recovery" or we'd "better get ready to advertise in time for the recovery" as if accepting the fallacy that the time to advertise is after the economy has recovered. Meanwhile, a small group of publishers is claiming that "the time to advertise is during a recession" and they cite studies and statistics to support their cases - and they are largely correct.

Like dollar cost averaging in a mutual fund whereby a constant amount of money purchases more shares when the price has declined, continuing to invest in high visibility marketing in the form of advertising, publicity and other vehicles during a slowdown yields substantial returns. Ads and articles running in thinner print magazines command more attention than in hefty editions, attention that is even more valuable if the competition has fled and retrenched. Online ads appear higher on the page for the same budget or bid amount. Plus ad rates are either reduced or can be reduced by a skilled media buyer. You can get more bang for the buck with less noise to drown out your message.

I'm not disputing the concept that investing in marketing during a slowdown yields a huge boost when the recovery comes around but my point is that there is no recovery coming around. The economic boom we longingly remember from a few years ago was artificially created by a series of government-driven policies involving interest rates, credit, taxation and other areas. Economic activity should not have been as brisk as it was. Therefore, to sit still while awaiting the return of another artificially created economic boom before taking action dooms your company to failure.

Instead, we need to operate not based on a hypothetical economic recovery but based on the actual economic conditions we face today and will likely continue to face for the foreseeable future. There is less low hanging fruit today than in the past. Each sale requires greater effort. More leads need to be generated to maintain comparable sales. More follow-up is needed to stay in touch as the buying cycle gets extended. More after the sale contact is needed to drive repeat business and referrals. Yet people and companies still need to buy things. They still need specialized services. The question is, “How will they know to buy them from you if they think you’ve disappeared?”




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