Home Back Issues October 2008 Don’t cut marketing when things get slow

Don’t cut marketing when things get slow

| Print |  Email
Archives - October 2008
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

A Recipe for Success

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Two businesswomen, two iconic food brands and one food-obsessed city. We thought this sounded like a recipe for good conversation. So in late August, Oregon Business sat down with Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, to discuss their rapidly expanding businesses and Oregon’s trendsetting food scene.


Read more...

Innovation: a critique

News
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
1008 innovation thumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

A Design Week panel discussion raises questions about how innovative we really are.


Read more...

Measure 91: What Oregon Businesses Need to Know

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
91 thumbBY DIANE BUISMAN

Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.


Read more...

Fly Zone

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

The black soldier fly’s larvae are among the most ravenous and least picky eaters on earth.


Read more...

Knight Vision

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Travis Knight wants to release a movie a year. Can he pull it off?


Read more...

Downtime

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.


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