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Change your marketing strategy but don’t panic

You won’t be surprised to learn that as a business, we want to encourage firms to publicise themselves more. However, I’ve always been in genuine agreement with whoever wrote: “When times are good, you should advertise. When times are bad, you must advertise.” And I think the message is understood; we look after over 50 clients, and only one has been ordered to cut back on advertising this month, despite the market upheaval.

The traditional argument for strengthening commitment to a particular strategy in times of recession is that some competitors may withdraw in panic, and this will allow you to obtain additional exposure. The nature of your advertising may need to change, however: studies have shown that short-term advertising increases during a recession, which is understandable.

This particular difficult period for business may present new challenges and opportunities. One of our clients has just increased spending on search advertising, because it believes that many of its own prospects may be working from home, and therefore magazines and postal mail will remain untouched in the office. Exhibitions have been cancelled too, and online advertising is a way to compensate for that.

Those particular changes may not apply to prospects in your market, but it’s a good time to show some intelligent thinking.