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Marketing Matters: Marketing in Recessionary Times

By: Donna C. Barson
Posted: May 1, 2008, from the May 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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And this leads right to rule four: All marketing does not have to be expensive. We have become accustomed to the splashy ad campaign recently, but this is probably not the time to blow millions on a marketing strategy featuring expensive celebrities. Focus on benefits and value. Try inexpensive marketing, such as press releases or through your Web site. Why not set up a blog for a certain product or group of products? Have consumers opt-in for e-mails and then communicate with them regularly. You’re a marketer, readjust your creative thinking cap and concoct cheaper, yet appealing, marketing strategies.

For example, Johnson & Johnson is pioneering a new strategy for its baby lotion that goes well beyond the traditional. The company is reaching out to a whole new generation of parents via the Web. This is a classic example of doing something different in tough times in order to stand out. Furthermore, both L’Oréal and Avon announced licensing deals with leading clothing lines in mid-March. Definitely not the way it did business in the past, but possibly the way of the future.

It’s easy to market when sales are booming, the money is flowing and the good times seem as if they’ll never end. The trick is how you market when times are tougher than a cheap steak. And if all the cries of “the economic sky is falling” get you down, just remember: the only thing that really happened to Chicken Little was that she got struck in the head with a tiny acorn.