Don’t cut marketing when things get slow

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, October 01, 2008

It’s fiscally tempting to scale back the marketing budget of your business in lean times, even though doing so may only cause more pain.

When the economy is tanking and business slows, companies often hastily react by “hunkering down” and shelving new marketing efforts to save money, says Keven Malkewitz, professor of marketing at Oregon State University. But that only exasperates business woes.

“If you go dark it takes a lot more energy to get in a consumer’s mind when the economy improves,” says Scott Nowack, president of Portland-based advertising firm Livengood Nowack.

Successful companies view a tough economic climate as an opportunity to outsmart, and overtake, their competitors with more cost-effective and experimental marketing strategies. Chances are your competitor is feeling the pinch, too, says Malkewitz.

Malkewitz, who conducted a seminar in Portland in April on marketing in a down economy, recommends that a business start by reappraising customers and their return of business relative to the amount of resources devoted to market toward them. “It’s a good time to fire customers,” he says.

It also helps to re-evaluate the viability of your product or service. In other words, a little empathy for the customer goes a long way. “In a down economy customers may need different things,” Malkewitz says. “The company that responds best to that usually wins.”

For Nowack, business is brisk and his clients are asking for more exposure, so he’s helping them sharpen their customer target and move to the Internet. One method is locating online communities and creating ads solely aimed toward them. He also is experimenting with “positive message” ads to contrast with negative political ads and news.

But new doesn’t necessarily mean better, according to Malkewitz. As much as businesses like to salivate over a quick fix or a new marketing tool or strategy, it’s really only a pipe dream that wastes precious time.

In the effort to survive, all the best marketing techniques still rely on building customer relationships and a quality product or service, he says.

Sure, temporary promotions such as lowering rates when customers have less money helps generate a bit more business, Malkewitz say, but in the long run, “the lowest price doesn’t always win.”

JASON SHUFFLER


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

More Articles

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

Modern design defines new Portland indoor market

The Latest
Thursday, June 25, 2015
thumbSnøhetta JBPM exterior www mir noBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

6 key things to know about summer baseball in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, June 05, 2015
basedthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.


Read more...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...

Photo Log: The 2015 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon

The Latest
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
greenthumbPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Oregon Business celebrated the 100 Best Green Workplaces with an awards luncheon yesterday at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Apartment Mania

Guest Blog
Thursday, June 18, 2015
4805983977 11466ce1d6 zBY BRAD HOULE | CFA

While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS