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The Secret of Marketing in A Recession


									      The Secret of Marketing in A

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The Secret of Marketing in a Recession? Is actually quite simple make sure you do! This is an interesting
article that highlights the actual evidence behind what works.

Though it seems to make sense to cut expenditures in lean economic times, 80 years of data proves that
cutting marketing to save money is a losing proposition.

Way back in 1927, the Harvard Business Review published a report tracking 200 companies from the 1923
recession on. The results were clear. The companies that didn’t cut back on marketing – those that
advertised the most during that period – enjoyed the biggest sales increases.

Another later study measuring the effects of business-to-business advertising looked closely at the
recessions of 1949, 1954, 1958 and 1961. In these tough times, sales and profits dropped for companies
that reduced their advertising. In addition, when the recovery came about (as it always will) those same
companies lagged behind those that did NOT cut back.

That was proven again by McGraw-Hill Research when examining the financial performance of 600
companies in 16 industries during the recession of 1981-1982. The report, published in Laboratory of
Advertising Report 5262, showed that sales for companies which aggressively marketed during the
recession rose 256% over those that cut back – and stayed growing for up to three years AFTER the
economic downturn.

A Cahners Publishing Company study in 1980 and a Center for Research and Development study in 1990
both concluded that those companies which maintain or increase their advertising during recessionary
times stand to gain the most market share during that period (an average of 1.5 points.)
Coopers & Lybrand and Business Science International put it this way in their joint report published by
Penton Media in 1993: “Businesses that maintain aggressive marketing programs during a recession,
outperform companies that rely more on cost cutting measures. A strong marketing program enables a
firm to solidify its customer base, take business away from less aggressive competitors, and position
itself for future growth during the recovery.”

There is a book of such research findings entitled Advertising in a Recession by Bernard Ryan, Jr.,
published in 1999. But these examples will probably suffice to tell the story.

The word “recession” has its origins in the Latin for “move backward.” In an economic recession, when
those around them “move backward,” smart marketers do just the opposite. They STEP FORWARD.

Longtime creative director and marketer

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