an article forwarded to me by Mike Beckman.
“A question we have been asked more than once recently is “how should my company handle a recession from an advertising perspectiveâ€? Well some great lessons on this subject were learned during America’s biggest recession – the Great Depression.
Simply put, the companies that stayed active in promoting themselves and their products came out of the Depression with often huge upticks in market share. Kellogg’s and Post were neck and neck in cereal sales as the depression started. Post slashed their advertising while Kellogg’s maintained theirs. At the end of the depression Kellogg’s had opened a market share dominance that they have maintained to this day.
During the decade before the depression Ford outsold Chevy 10 to 1. Chevy piled on advertising as the depression hit, keeping some magazines afloat with their relentless print marketing, and before the depression was over Chevy was outselling Ford, setting the stage for a close duel that has gone on for seventy years since.
Although the lessons are old, nothing has changed: when times are hard and companies pull-back from view, it can leave customers feeling abandoned and certainly can call into question a company’s capability to survive at a time when such is uppermost on customers’ minds. We don’t advocate spending wildly of course, we never do, but time and time again it has been shown that a recession is the time when bold companies with a well executed plan can pull away from their competitors.
There are two ways to increase your advertising exposure in a market: in real terms – by increasing your budget, and in relative terms – by staying in the game as your competitors pull out. The easiest way to seem like the big guy is when you are the only voice being heard.
In a recession, it is ever more important to ask questions about your brand and its marketing. Part of Chevy’s answer while taking on Ford was to refocus their advertising on positive emotions and in fact they broke new ground in this area at a time when the population as a whole felt pretty lousy.
So take this time to make sure that your brand is sending the right message to the right people, so no matter what the state of the economy, your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way. It never ceases to amaze me how many ad dollars are frittered away promoting the wrong message to the wrong people. Done correctly, a “brand audit”can actually lead to a reduction in marketing spending and yet an increase in effectiveness.
That sounds like a great way to fight competitors and recession at the same time.”
A Dramatic Apology
A Dramatic Apology
Scene: An auto repair shop
Characters: Peter Merriam (a wise man of few words, and the best auto mechanic in suburban Atlanta)
Curt Cloninger (an actor and writer. A man with a Subaru, and a need for some encouragement)
[The scene opens with Peter finishing up an oil change on Curt's old Subaru. As is his custom, Curt engages his friend in conversation.]
Curt: So …how’s business?
Peter: Not bad.
Curt: That’s saying something, in this economy.
Peter: Yeah, well …
Curt: I mean, really … fixing cars … I guess that’s sort of a recession-proof thing, huh?
Peter: I guess.
Curt: [somewhat wistfully] Maybe I should learn how to fix cars …
Peter: Nah. You should stick with what you’re good at.
Curt: Which is?
Peter: You know … Acting. And writing. And stuff about God.
Curt: [somewhat discouraged] Yeah well … in this economy, that’s not exactly fixing cars.
Peter: [putting down his wrench] What do you mean?
Curt: [leaning against his Subaru] It seems like, in times like these … you know … tight times, it’s guys like you who people need. Guys who can do practical things, like fix old cars. These days I’m not sure how many people are looking for actors playing the Fool for God.
Peter: [Wiping his hands on an old rag. Stops and looks directly at Curt] You really are an idiot, aren’t you?
Curt: [with a slight chuckle] It’s good to know you still have the gift of encouragement.
Peter: [not laughing] I’m serious. What you do is much more important than fixing an old car. You’re giving people hope. You’re helping â€˜em laugh. You’re pointing â€˜em in the direction of what’s real and true and lasting. And you’re entertaining â€˜em to boot. [after a pause] Didn’t you learn anything in those fancy schools that you went to?
Curt: [chastised] Maybe.
Peter: I’m gonna tell you something. If you quit traveling, doing your shows about God, I’m not gonna work on your car anymore.
Curt: Hey! That’s not fair!
Peter: I’m just saying.
Curt: Well, that’s not exactly up to me. For an actor to act he’s gotta have an audience. People actually need to schedule me for their events.
Peter: They will. You’ll see. [as he puts his tools away] Hey … Maybe you need to cut â€˜em a bit of slack on your fees. Everybody’s doing that these days … you know … lowering their prices a bit.
Curt: So, I’m getting this oil change at a discount?
Peter: Don’t hold your breath.
|Peter is a Wise Man
I do hope my friend Peter is right. For twenty-five years I’ve made my living doing something as “impractical”as bringing people hope, laughter and reflection about what’s lasting in this life. I’d love to keep doing that, especially in these tough times, when people really need those things. Drop me a note. Pass my name on to others. I’m probably more affordable than you realize. And, after all, I’ve got an oil change to pay for.
Click Here to see my website www.curtcloninger.com
Pass my name on to others! I’ll bring â€˜em a quart of oil.
by Grady “J”Pennell, Jr.Doctor of MinistrySchool of Theology, Fuller Theological SeminarySubject: christian books
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Do you ever get to the end of the week and say, “Where did the time go?” Could you use an extra day to get important things done? Do you spend more time on urgent tasks and meetings rather than on the important ones?
Do your important tasks and conduct your important meetings before 12 noon every day.
This tool means that tasks like emails and text and phone messages wait until after lunch. This tool means that tasks like reading the sports page, conversation in the break room, and changing your phone’s ring tone become rewards once IMPORTANT tasks and meetings are completed.
Try scheduling your next week this way and enjoy being proactive rather than reactive.
“Most things which are urgent are not important, and most things which are important are not urgent.”
Get a vision by painting a picture in your mind’s eye of what God wants for you. King Solomon said, “Where the people lack vision, they perish.”
Here’s my challenge for you: this week get by yourself with pen and paper in hand and answer the three questions from the first paragraph. After that, take one step toward reaching each of them.
1. What would you like your photo albums to look like?
2. What would you like your children’s parenting skills to look like?
3. What would you like your physical health to look like?
Start now to reach your goals for the future. For me, one of my photo album dreams is to take our family to the Rocky Mountains in the middle of winter to play in the snow. We’ve dreamed about doing this for 20 years and only have 2-3 more years to pull it off. So, it’s my vision to do it in January of 2010. Now that I have that vision in place, I can make the next move, and I will. What’s your next move?