Legendary ad god David Ogilvy said, “I avoid clients for whom advertising is only a marginal factor in their marketing mix. They have an awkward tendency to raid their advertising appropriations whenever they need cash for other purposes.”
As an agency founder and industry leader, I can attest to the veracity of that statement. As soon as sales slump, forecasts go south, and stock values decline, many of our clients tend to raid the advertising war chest in an effort to spread the wealth around their overall budgets.
While this maneuver may seem to make sense in the CFO’s office, it brings dismay and disaster down the hall in the CMO’s. I can hear it now: the CMO looking at the “spending cut” memo and thinking to himself, “So after two years of raising our profile, generating momentum, and capturing market share, we’re pulling to the wayside and let our competitors who ARE advertising zoom right by. How much will it cost for us to catch up and take the lead…. again? Just brilliant! <sarcastic head shake>
Here’s a few compelling reasons why companies should advertise MORE in a downturn economy, not less.
1. Your competitors may be pulling back on ad spending and efforts. This means you will gain an edge in the market without adding the extra dollars it would take in a good economy.
2. Because ad spending by the big companies is down, mediums are forced to drop rates accordingly. Newspaper ad revenues are plummeting; cable and broadcast TV media rates are becoming softer; even digital and mobile ad revenues are being affected. It’s a buyer’s market!
3. Because your ad dollar will go further, now is the time to try allocating funds to newer mediums and testing new platforms.
4. Advertising in a downturn economy bolsters your brand thanks to less noise in the market place.
5. Your brand has an incredible opportunity to relate to, and engage with, your target in a lifestyle affinitive way. Consider Walmart’s Save Money, Live Better campaign that puts their price value at the core of the audience’s aspirations.
To sum it up, the old adage still rings true: “In good times advertise, In bad times, advertise even more.”
PS: And for you cynical types out there, Accelerator is a media neutral agency that receives no commissions for planning or placing media. In fact, we obtain the agency discount and pass that allowance on to our clients. This allows our agency to make non-biased media recommendations and focuses the client’s dollars on getting results, not getting us rich.
Author: Mr. Timo Matero, CEO and Director, Accelerator Advertising, Inc.
Author: Mr. Timo Matero, Founder and Director, Accelerator Advertising, Inc.