Opportunity in a Bad Economy

The US and global economies are hungover from the last several years of risky-lending parties in the finance world. As a result, companies are cutting down on costs by downsizing staff or minimizing the scope of any projects that don’t directly generate profit (such as R&D or Marketing projects).

We all know that emotional decisions are often just plain stupid. Still, everybody is cutting these costs because of fear. I read a few articles recently that not only kill this fear with logic and solid evidence, but have really fired me up with optimism:

When times are good, everyone’s clamoring to have their voice heard. Today, however, your marketing dollar has more bang, largely because fewer people are advertising, selling, and getting the word out. It’s ripe for you to get out there, bang your drum, and perhaps even grab a couple of your competitors’ clients in the meanwhile. -Eric Karjaluoto

  • Hanging Tough from the New Yorker. This article nicely backs up the smashLAB article with historical evidence. Several times in the past, many companies have won market share by marketing harder in tough times, while the rest of the pack cut such spending. The discussion includes companies that found success during recessionary times, such as Kellogg’s, Chrysler, Texas Instruments, Kraft, and Apple. The author notes that in a downturn,

…it’s natural to focus on what you can control: minimizing losses and improving short-term results. And cutting spending is a good way of doing this; a major study, by the Strategic Planning Institute, of corporate behavior during the past thirty years found that reducing ad spending during recessions did improve companies’ return on capital. It also meant, though, that they grew less quickly in the years following recessions than more free-spending competitors did.

So, don’t stop beating your drum because it’s time to go at it even harder — you have a better chance of being heard now more than ever before. If you succeed in the short-term, you’ll also position yourself strongly for when the good times are rolling once again.

3 thoughts on “Opportunity in a Bad Economy

  1. Right on, Vivek.

    I’m hoping more people will drop their fears and forge ahead. In a tough time, it’s move or be moved. I’d rather take action and risk failure than sit passively and ensure it.

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