Monday, February 16, 2009

Advertising & Recession- Why should it coexist?...part II

In the scenario that was analysed in the first part, this second part takes stock of why marketers should not cut advertising expenditures as is the norm and why advertising has to go on.
The big WHY?

1. Advertising Attracts New Customers

The market changes constantly. People earned more money, pre recession times which changed their lifestyles and buying habits which cannot disappear suddenly because of recession. Going back is impossible for many, may be some cutting down may happen. The customer may become a bit choosier and may see you in the shelf now. The shopper who wouldn't consider your business a few years ago may become a prime customer now. And same the other way round -the shopper whom you wouldn’t see should be seen by you now. The real estate scene for example- you have to keep advertising because the one who couldn’t afford to buy a flat may be able to at least consider one now and how will he know who is there selling what until you tell him…?

2. Advertising Creates purchase even when it is recession

The more people who come into a retail store, the more opportunities the store have to make sales .How do the store generate traffic without advertising?
Even outside the store, the gap between the need and the want is widening according to the recession figures, leading to deferring of many decisions. This Gap of Thought (GOT) where the marketer plays games to lead the prospect to buy a particular brand over some other brand, has to be kept occupied. You have but to listen to the market, keep scanning for unmet needs and the GOT and fulfill them. Advertising is a great tool for such reaching out.

3. Advertising Encourages Repeat Business

Brand and store loyalty is a bye gone phenomenon, maybe except for cult brands. It once did exist but not any longer. To generate newer people in your buying list and to keep the ones already buying from you, intact advertising is a must. The super market where I go, I go back probably only because of the price factor. That is regardless of the fact that I often get confused between value for money and cheap price. I am sure many buyers have the same dilemma. More involved and more frequent customer research is required to understand how consumers are redefining value during such odd times… Advertising can lead people to your brand for sure if it can reach them in believable formats.

4. Advertising stays, recession do not

History and annals of business has enough tales of companies that retained or even hiked their ad budgets during recession and found that at recession’s end they had surpassed their competitors by wide margins. The Kellogg’s and Post cereal companies who raced neck and neck in the 1920’s to dominate the breakfast cereal business story is an often discussed case. The great American depression came in 30’s when Kellogg’s kept on the spend and the competitor saved his money only to fall flat on his face after the depression when the race came to an end . The rest is history. Now that cannot be an example for everyone everywhere but at least that should drive home a point that when you are flying high and when you have a crisis you don’t switch off your engine. Do you?

It is a question of maintaining momentum, once you let it go off, it will be not that easy to reach the same level yet again.

5. Advertising alone does not make the mix

Clever companies don’t just cut ad spend during a slump, but instead they react with rearranged marketing mixes. A lower range variants of the same products to keep the ones in there intact, a price program to keep steady customers unswerving, unique discounts intended to offer temporarily lower pricing (if you have room to do so) etc can be various ways but a sharp cut on ad budgets as if that is the only tool is a fools job. consumers will be looking for more value, so focus more on consistency, durability, safety and performance and less on attention-grabbers .It will take the company no where if marketing is not seen as a sum of all the p’s and if promotion is kept separate and is seen as a luxury.

To be continued >>>>>>>>>>>>.

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