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

The clean fuels opportunity

News
Monday, November 10, 2014
111014-dirtyfuel-thumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.


Read more...

Growing a mobility cluster

News
Friday, October 31, 2014
0414 bikes bd2f6052BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Why are there so few transportation startups in Portland?  The city’s leadership in bike, transit and pedestrian transportation has been well-documented.  But that was then — when government and nonprofits paved the way for a new, less auto centric way of life.


Read more...

Corner Office: Pam Edstrom

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits of information from an agency partner and co-founder of Waggener Edstrom in Lake Oswego.


Read more...

Leading with the right brain

News
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
120914-manderson-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

On the eve of the Portland Ad Federation's Rosey Awards, Matt Anderson, CEO of Struck, talks about the transition from creative director to CEO, the Portland talent pool and whether data is the new black in the creative services sector.


Read more...

Shuffling the Deck

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JON BELL

Oregon tribes still bet on casinos.


Read more...

Two Sides of the Coin

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
22 twosidesBY JASON NORRIS

Historically, when the leaves fall, so do the markets. This year, earnings, Europe, energy and Ebola have in common? Beyond alliteration, they are four factors that the investors are pointing to for this year’s seasonal volatility.


Read more...

See How They Run

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Studying ground-running birds, a group that ranks among nature's speediest and most agile bipedal runners, to build a faster robot.


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