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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Advertise smart during recession

MOST marketing gurus often advise companies that advertise their products and services to avoid the urge to slash their advertising budgets during economic downturns.

The reason is simple — brands, products and services that maintain a strong presence during such periods usually remain beter entrenched in the minds of consumers particularly because there is less advertising clutter.

Such loyalty-breeding efforts often pay off handsomely when the economy picks up because continuous and consistent advertising retains or increases top-of-mind awareness and recall among consumers.

That was one corollary of the recent study conducted by Carat Media Interactive Services (M) Sdn Bhd, which identified four sectors where advertising expediture actually rose in reaction to an economic downturn.

Apart from benefitting from higher demand during downturns, the four sectors — education, alcoholic beverages, industrial and transport advertised strongly to further increase this demand.

This smart strategy has also been successfully adopted by telecommunications firms, consumer electronics as well as manufacturers of household cleaning products..

The origin of this strategy has often been attributed to William Wrigley Jr, who claimed the success of his chewing gum empire was due to constant and forceful advertising.

The lore states that when he was once travelling to California with a young accountant from his firm and they were reviewing sales figures, the latter asked, “Sir, Wrigley’s gum is known and sold all over the world. We have a larger share of the market than all of our competitors combined. Why
don't you now save the millions you are spending on advertising and shift those dollars into the profit column for the next quarter?”

Wrigley thought for a moment and then asked, “Young man, how fast is this train going?”

“About sixty miles an hour,” replied the young accountant. And Wrigley asked, “Then why
doesn’t the railroad remove the engine and let the train travel on its own momentum?


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