Brian Creath

Marketing: Timing the Recovery

In Brand, Marketing, Strategy on March 16, 2009 at 9:08 pm

In his recent article, “How Marketers Should Plan For Recovery,” Harvard Business School marketing professor John Quelch provides advice to companies wondering when to resume marketing spending: “Don’t wait for permission. Most companies will not begin reinvesting until the Wall Street Journal or Ben Bernanke officially declare the recovery underway. Get ahead of the crowd. Craft your recovery plan now, and pull the trigger when your lead indicators say go.”

Unfortunately, many companies today have confused marketing spending activities with strategic planning efforts. Depending on your category of business, it may or may not be the right time for heavy marketing spending. But undoubtedly, and regardless of economic conditions, it is a critical time for strategic marketing planning.

Why? Because like it or not, your company, your brand(s) and your target audiences have been changed by the economic issues of the past few months. Understanding and articulating the relevance your marketing offerings now (and will) hold with audiences is imperative. Now is the time to rebuild your message for today, and for the future. By the time the recovery is in full swing, your competitors may have already rebuilt theirs.

(By the way, if you need a bit of strategic assistance, I know a firm that can help.)

Regarding the timing of your marketing spend, Quelch goes on to say, “Know your lead indicators. Every good marketer knows the specific indicators, macro or micro, that predict demand for his or her product in the next period. Use common sense. If the Wal-Mart parking lot looks less crowded, some consumers are probably migrating back to Target and vice versa.” As the 3rd and 4th quarters approach, sales people everywhere are beginning to question how their organizations will provide the marketing support they need.

Those companies that invest in planning today, increase their chances of winning tomorrow. Is your company planning to lead, or planning to follow?

While I’m working on my next post, I hope you’ll read about how Cohesion helps organizations build stronger messaging to increase consistency, lower cost and drive growth, here.

  1. […] I discussed in an earlier post, companies that plan today, increase their chances of winning tomorrow. Is your company planning to […]

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