EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Weathering the Storm

January 22, 2009

When the going gets tough, the tough keep advertising

Strong marketing during recessions means stronger business

(Continued)

And of course, remind them of the value your company brings to their life.

3. Your competitors will lose market share to you

Hard times give you an opportunity to gain market share as competitors pull back, Vendice said.

Immediately after the terrorist attacks against America on Sept. 11, 2001, she said, some clients wanted to "pull everything."

But the Mandalay Resort Group, owners of the Las Vegas strip properties of Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, Luxor, and Circus, Circus, were back advertising within 15 to 30 days.

"TV rates were extremely inexpensive at that time and it was a very profitable subsequent quarter for some of them," she said.

Value-oriented casinos like Circus, Circus and Excalibur were the first ones back up with action-driven, value-oriented offers that also preserved the brand, Vendice said.

Prominent public relations executive Brian Solis had this to say on the topic in a December piece on TechCrunch.com:

"Customers, do not stop making decisions — they're just more discerning during volatile economic climates. But make no mistake, if you choose to stop vying for customer attention, the world will move ahead without you."

Studies show: Advertising pays off, and keeps paying

Over the years, hundreds of studies have been conducted on how companies deal with advertising during a recession.

After World War II, Buchen Advertising Inc. decided to plot the sales of a large number of advertisers through successive recessions. In 1947, Buchen began measuring the annual advertising expenditures of each company. When the figures were correlated with sales and profit trends before, during and after the recessions of 1949, 1954, 1958 and 1961, they showed that almost without exception, sales and profits dropped off at companies that cut back on advertising. The studies also revealed that after the recessions ended, those companies continued to lag behind the ones that had maintained their advertising budgets.

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