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Careful with that Axe

One of the articles I referred to last week suggested the economic crisis hasn’t reached many of our businesses (although that wasn’t the point of the article), and a reader here emailed me to ask “what planet is that guy on?”

I’d actually run a seminar a few days before, attended by marketing managers from UK industrial companies, and I have to report the outlook was – perhaps surprisingly – upbeat. I guess it just depends on what business you’re in. It’s not boom time for readers in the construction sector, I’m sure. And even if business continues to surprise you, it’s got to be good sense to plan for a downturn in the next couple of quarters, even if it hasn’t hit you yet. That’s why I’m suggesting that if there’s ever going to be a time to rip up your marketing plans and relaunch them based around your website, now is that time.

Anyway, the Marketing Profs Daily Fix Blog reports on a survey of over 600 members which suggests that cuts are already happening. Marketers Expecting Cuts During Economic Crisis says that 52% of marketers are already making changes to plans and budgets and 65% expect negative effects on marketing overall. Even more, 75%, say the impact of the crisis will extend through 2009 and into 2010.

Whilst the respondents to this survey are from a wider base (geographically and business-wise) than most readers of this blog, I doubt there’d be a dramatically diferent response from UK industrial marketing. However, a recession is the least expensive time to increase market share, so it’s crucial to remember that marketing is not a discretionary expense. And online marketing can be the most efficient element of the marketing mix – because if done right, it should be the least speculative part.

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