30 Ideas in 40 Minutes for Marketing in the Recession
30 Ideas in 40 Minutes to Reject the
Recession & Profit in 2009!
Triangle AMA – April 16, 2009
1. It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we
see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we assume you are
doing well financially and therefore do not need a pay rise.
2. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that
you may buy nicer clothes and therefore you do not need a pay rise.
We will no longer accept a doctor's certificate as proof of sickness. If you
are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called
Saturdays and Sundays.
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...is about turning something
which is seen as a
...into a positive – more revenue /
sales, greater share of voice and
better consumer relationships
More than ever
together in a
way to create
Reject the Recession!
Myrtle Beach, SC
printer partners with
local TV station in a
“Reject the Recession”
$$$ in free publicity,
250 businesses signup
to support, TV station
covers the “RTR”
We are currently in a “Trust Recession”
Following is a small list of what‟s been lost to the trust recession:
Banks no longer trust other banks‟ balance sheets, freezing interbank loans;
Investors distrust most financial asset classes outside of US short-term
treasury notes, driving those rates down toward zero;
US voters don‟t trust their government to handle a bailout competently,
openly and fairly;
Financial asset managers don‟t trust risk models--neither do investors;
The investing public doesn‟t trust accounting firms to identify shareholder
risk (I know, it‟s arguably not their job…);
Financial asset ratings agencies‟ trustworthiness has been gravely
We no longer believe that lenders wouldn‟t lend to un-creditworthy
consumers--because they did
Build Trust Through Honesty &
Local bank puts CEO and president on the spot, in the
media and out in front to address today‟s challenges
Do your customers see you as a point of clarity
amidst chaos, creating order out of the disordered?
Trust Starts With Your People
Employee issues are critically important during
recessions and in preparation for recovery
Constant communications has been proven to sustain
high morale and maintain company strength
For Example: Black and Decker increases communications during times of recession in
order to maintain morale and credibility among their employees.
• The company alerts employees to changes in their respective departments
• They communicate up front what the managers see as areas for potential reductions in
employment or financial support
• Black and Decker continues its investment in organizational development
• The company philosophy is to promote employees from within, even during a recession.
Keep Team On Task & Upbeat
Don't sing the Recession Blues around any staff what-so-ever.
If people feel like they have a reason to fail some of them just
might - don't give them the opportunity.
It starts at the top. Don't ignore reality, be willing to speak
candidly about the changing circumstances that impact your
business, but don't emotionally quot;throw in the towel.quot;
With the exception of a handful of businesses...the market still
exists for what you sell. Somebody somewhere is buying what
The question is, are you positioned well enough to be the one
to sell it to em' and are you capitalizing on every opportunity?
Pricing decisions should be viewed not as Band-Aid
solutions for bleeding income statements but as part of a
long-term strategy for fiscal fitness.
- Reed K. Holden, Harvard Business Review
Leverage Price Segmentation
First class, business & economy = same
destination Accenture reports
that a price
Offer premiums for those willing to pay while
increase of just
moving others „upmarket‟ 1% can improve
Dynamic pricing based on (any factor you
by 11% if sales
like!) time, location, quantity, derived benefits, volume remains
“The more you can slice and dice your prices and offerings without
affecting your brand, the more you can sustain profitability.”
- Eric Mitchell, Professional Pricing Society
Cost Cutting Can Backfire
In 2002, Kimberly-Clark reduced
the number of diapers in each
package of Huggies in order to
Procter & Gamble could have
followed suit, but instead they
kept their pack size constant and
added the word “Compare” to
At the same time, they increased
discount coupons and store
displays for Pampers, effectively
spoiling the pricing power of
Make Products Accessible With Price
During the Argentinean economic crisis of
2002, Unilever made it possible for
people to buy the Skip laundry brand
by making small packages available,
which carried a low unit price. They also
introduced large economy sizes that
offered people a better deal.
Even if your brand is relatively high
priced, that high price, per se, need not
be a problem as long as people believe
your brand provides value for money.
Most people find security in buying an
established and reputable brand. What
you need to do is make your brand
Introduce New Products & Services
Historically, some of the best innovations come from
Less noise and clutter means more room for you
(increase SOV & SOM)
Innovations are proven to keep customers buying in
times that are otherwise slow
For Example: There are two examples of great interest:
1) Paychex, an payroll processor, launched Taxpay in 1990 as an additional service for
it’s existing customers on Paychex. It brought in a burst of new revenues from
existing customers while introduced new customers to both Taxpay and Paychex,
setting itself up nicely for the recovery
2) Black & Decker introduced a highly successful line of 33 new power tools during the
1990 recession that set it up to capitalized on the DIY boom of the next decade.
Launch a New Product/Service/???
The public is looking for
strength, stability and a
Video game system sales &
It‟s easier to cut through
DVD rentals are steady
some of the clutter in Competition- “Looking
recessions with a positive Good is Feeling Good”
message, as the MSM Pricey
acne treatment vs.
are seeking out things dermatologist
that aren‟t all „doom and Survivors
gloom‟ Escapism & Hope
In 1975, during a
deep recession in the
GM introduced Mr.
Goodwrench as the
mechanic (with clean
hands)” to help sell
services and parts.
giant Colgate-Palmolive in
1980 with “revolutionary”
liquid soap and was later
bought by C-P in „87.
Absolut vodka was brought
to the US in 1981 and had
#1 market share by 1985
Loyalty marketing was
launched with the first-ever
frequent flier program by
premium cat food in 1980
Clio case study
Renault launched Clio during a recession
They exceeded all expectations, stealing market share from their quieter /
Get into that killer space for cheap
Commercial property owners willing to negotiate
Generate awareness & traffic for your main location
Implement an aggressive CRM strategy to keep
those new customers
Fits right into the
Throw A Party
There's enough bad news circulating as it
is, don't add to it. Instead, create
something fun where people can get together.
Morgans Hotel Group is taking the recession head-on with anti-
recession themed parties at their hotels across the country. The parties
are part of their larger campaign, quot;RecessIsOn,quot; which includes a micro
site devoted to how people are not letting the recession talk keep them
You can stand out from all the other brands complaining about how tough
things are going by throwing a party where your fans and customers can
Learn more: RecessIsOn
The Lesson: Lift the spirits of your fans by finding a reason to celebrate.
Branding and other forms of
push marketing drop in a
slowdown, while direct
marketing tends to rise.
Increase measurable and
such as search marketing, email
marketing, lead nurturing, and
Target + List + Offer
Bail Out Your Customers
What if you could offer your customers a little taste of a
Laguna Grille in New York selects a random table at every
lunch and dinner to be quot;bailed out.quot; The bailout covers the
winning party's tab (except alcoholic drinks) and comes
with a quot;Laguna Grille Bailoutquot; certificate.
You can bailout your customers by forgiving interest they owe,
extending their payment plans, or giving them a freebie.
The Lesson: Your customers will appreciate a bailout, even if
it's not in the billions.
Take Off The Stress
Buying a car is stressful enough, so how do you sell one to someone who is
also concerned about losing their job?
If you're Hyundai, you offer a year-long return policy where customers can
return their vehicles should they lose their job or suffer some other quot;life-
altering circumstancequot; such as a transfer.
Take a look at your return policies, payment plans
and guarantees. Do they relieve the stress of
spending money on your stuff?
Learn more: Hyundai Assurance
The Lesson: Use your return policies
and payment plans to reduce the
stress of your customers.
Engage in RELEVANT Social Media
Do you know where
your customers are
hanging out online?
Have you asked them?
Social media helps us
build relationships with
little financial outlay -
we only need to invest
Social Media for Small Business
Steakhouse is a single-
location restaurant in
Using a website, local
ads, blogging, video,
Twitter, MySpace and
other digital tools to
Martell‟s Holistic Strategy
The strategy that dictates
Martell‟s business plan is not
focused on social media, it‟s
Advertising, customer relations,
vendor relations, public relations,
website execution, social media
Martell went through the
strategic process of defining
their audience, establishing their
objectives, developing strategies
to accomplish those objectives
Lasso Your Leads
Ensure every lead opportunity is being handled and
accounted for properly.
What many business don't realize they get good
leads, everyday, that quot;slip through the cracks“
If you can identify and quot;plug up the holesquot; in your
customer acquisition funnel - your lead generation
and sales process will become more efficient.
An efficient lead gen process will free up cash and
give you flexibility to put more resources into
advertising and sales initiatives.
Leverage adjacent marketing and sales strategies.
Because everybody is quot;feeling the heatquot; or worried about the
changing economy develop relationships with other companies
to pool resources and refer internally.
Devise a strategy to offer your customers more service, special
offers or other incentives to do business with you because of
your relationship with fellow business owners.
For Example: If you sell auto parts, develop a relationship with a service station for
discounts on gas (of course only available through your store). Develop a relationship
with an oil change station, etc. Workout a mutually beneficial referral system that gives
each business a better shot at a customer. I guess you could call this a Co-Op Win-Win.
Mine The Gold At Home
Get more from what „ya got - focus on your existing client
base. According to the late Peter Drucker:
Your business has a 1:14 chance of doing business with someone with
whom you have never done business,
You have 1:4 chance of doing business with someone with whom you
have had a relationship but have stopped and,
You have a 1:2 chance of doing business with an existing customer.
So, what does this mean? A great recession proof strategy is
to communicate more with your existing customers - focus
marketing and sales resources inward.
Build a loyal tribe of followers and use your client base to
Recession Busting At Hobart
Two Tactics Hobart Uses to Defy the Recession: 400 Customer Testimonials
and 0% Financing
Hobart gathered 400+ usable customer testimonials and case histories
during the promotion, which they used to create a quot;great database which is
a fabulous tool for selling for their distributors. This library includes
testimonials from just about every industry segment we are in around the
The online library of testimonials is also highly popular with Hobart's site
Sometimes no amount of superior marketing can make up for all the sales lost to a shrinking
economy. A Hobart spokesperson said, quot;We've had some difficult times this year in terms of top-line
sales, but we're very positioned for recovery.quot;
Which is smart thinking: Right now it is not just about surviving the downturn, it is about putting
systems, relationships, and campaign tests in place so you can bounce into recovery faster the minute
the economy allows you to.
Avoid The Middle
My money is on strong brands with high net promoter scores
who are consistently delivering genuine and perceived
This is a bad time to be Sears and a better time to be Best
Buy or Bergdorf‟s. Sears is stuck in the middle without
competitive advantage on price, value or service.
Best Buy offers both value and service (via Geek Squad)
and Bergdorf‟s regulars are unlikely to cut back
Mass consumer brands with a wide range of products would
be smart to emphasize their high-end and entry-level
models again with the goal of avoiding the middle.
Partner With A Nonprofit
Non-profits will feel the
pinch as their supports
cut back on donations.
Mobilize your employees
and your customers behind the non-profits you truly believe in and
you will be amazed at the good will and good business you will do
as a result.
It may seem counterintuitive to increase your CSR (corporate social
responsibility) now BUT that is exactly why it is worth considering.
Your employees will undoubtedly respond with increased loyalty that
will also translate into higher productivity.
What Should Marketers DO?
Build cross-marketing relationships with a variety of partners
Actively encourage customer referrals
Take advantage of no-cost media publicity
Behave, company-wide, according to highly ethical and Green
Use those principles to demonstrate points of difference that
cast the company favorably in the eyes of its customers,
suppliers, employees, competitors, media, and general public
Track, measure, and evaluate all paid advertising--looking
both at immediate results and at lifetime value
What Should Marketers DO?
Devise a strategy for marketing when times are tough, so you
can revisit it again in future slow downs
Evaluate where your marketing dollars are going and only
spend in the most effective places
Create new, meaningful ways to reach out to prospective and
Focus on brand awareness
Increase your networking, including social networking
What Should Marketers DO?
Think like a winner.
Review their marketing expenditures and be prepared to shift
dollars around at short notice.
As the recession carries on, review their competitors marketing
efforts and determine where they are leaving the field open.
Shift marketing dollars to increase their presence slightly in
areas where their competition has backed off.
Encourage their marketing and customer service staff to see
this as an opportunity to shine. Award them for their efforts
and communicate with them, so they don't fear for their jobs.
Business Building Top 10
1) If you don‟t have a marketing plan, create one, even if it‟s really simple, to
keep you focused on what‟s most important. Having a plan means having a
budget, and that can actually help you reduce spending.
2) Avoid the knee-jerk reaction of eliminating marketing expenses just because
your accountant says they‟re discretionary.
3) Take extra care of your current customers, because others will be pursuing them,
and it costs less to take care of a current customer than finding a new one. Be
creative about finding ways to show appreciation that also reinforce how good
you are at what you do for them.
4) Examine your budget with a critical eye for how you‟ve allocated, looking at the
expected payback of competing line items. If you must cut, do a forced ranking
and delete whatever falls to the bottom of the list.
5) Sharpen your statements of competitive advantage (“Why buy from us?”
answers), including hard facts and meaningful customer testimonials. Replace “We
believe in quality” with “Our customers enjoy 30% less downtime.” Use that to
modify your messaging for greater relevancy in the current economy.
Business Building Top 10
6) Revisit customer pain points that your business can address. Refresh your
empathy for customers‟ current situations, and use that in dialogue with customers.
7) Consider incorporating more trigger marketing tactics in your arsenal, i.e. event,
life-stage, or interaction-triggered promotions or offers that hit your customer when
they‟re most inclined to respond (like promoting snow-blowers right after a blizzard)
8) Use social media tools to focus on topics and conversations about the role your
business plays in a difficult economy.
9) If you‟re a paid advertiser, try to renegotiate more favorable terms and more
added value components from media sellers facing a very soft market.
10) Don‟t forget to integrate public relations into the total mix, and don‟t let tight
budgets allow you to lose PR momentum. PR will enhance the credibility of
everything else you do. It‟s a tough world out there right now, with no safe places to
hide. If ever there was a time when your decisions can make a critical difference on
the vitality of your business, it‟s now. So what are you waiting for?
Prepare For Economic Recovery
Typical recessions are 6mos – 2 years … Prepare
your plans for a 2 year horizon
Look for bargain acquisitions, leases, employees,
whatever you need to be successful on the upswing
Marketplace protection moves rapidly to
You‟ll be flush with cash from the new customers
acquired in the downturn, ready to expand into the
CEO, Procter & Gamble
“We have a
and a strategy.
When times are
tough, you build
Tools, Tactics and Ideas for Marketing in the Recession
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