It sounds counterintuitive – invest more while the economy continues to flatline.
But if you’re running an organization or playing a key role in maintaining your organization’s competitive edge, we hope you’ve figured out that you can make lemonade out this sour economy.
The economy is cyclical, just like a force of nature. It will inevitably get better. After 18 years in our marketing consulting and public relations business, we’ve witnessed just about every type of upturn and downturn. Our theory is: The bad times are preparation for the good.
Simply put, ramp up your marketing now.
What does this mean for you? A few thoughts:
- If the C-suite or board of directors is focused on slashing and burning its way through the recession, it’s time to get them refocused on the future. The best way to refocus is through the exercise of marketing planning – it provides solid strategy, a road map to the future as well as a spotlight on strengths and weaknesses.
- A down economy gives you the opportunity to test market ideas and products, as well as interaction with customers or key stakeholders. It’s a perfect time to boost your brand the old-fashioned way, by having conversations with your audiences. Some of the best ideas emerge this way.
- Have you done an audit lately? An audit carries a negative connotation to many business executives, but to a marketing professional it means a gold mine of information. Basically, an audit helps you analyze what marketing tactics have worked well and what haven’t. It’s often the perfect prelude to starting a marketing plan, as mentioned above, because audits are usually conducted with metrics. Sometimes numbers can tell an interesting story and can be the convincing factor to get your team involved in a full-scale marketing plan.
- Invest in building and maintaining your brand now. If you delay, you begin to lose brand equity, which will have to be made up in the future at a considerably higher cost.
Position your organization now to prepare for the upturn (yes, it really will happen!). If you vow to keep one New Year’s resolution in 2012, put marketing investment at the top of the list.